Note from Dave: Below, my colleague and friend Doug Stark introduces his newly re-mastered, four-leveled Mechanics Instruction that Sticks series of warm-ups for English teachers. For my secondary English teacher readers, you’ll probably be interested in this whole post; for my non-ELA teacher readers, let me suggest the section of the post titled “Principles Underlying the Warm-Ups.” In this […]
English teachers are, in my humble opinion, the hardest working people in public education. We have the unenviable task of trying to convince a generation of kids raised on electronic devices and nursed by spell check to slow down and write with purpose and precision. We see ourselves as the last line of defense against the continual erosion of the language, and we try to teach our kids to avoid all of the dreaded errors – the run-on, the forgotten apostrophe, the misplaced modifier – that threaten to reduce our language into an incomprehensible stew of unpunctuated gibberish filled with text-friendly abbreviations and inscrutable emojis. We admire our content-teaching colleagues, but we secretly envy their ability to simply ignore the numerous errors that litter essay responses as they grade for ideas and content knowledge.