At the time of this writing, Doug Stark’s Mechanics Instruction that Sticks: Using Simple Warm-Ups to Improve Student Writing has been purchased by half a thousand people; these educators come from seven different countries and 48 US states (New Mexico and Delaware, if you’re wondering). Needless to say, Doug and I are humbled and happy that the book seems to […]
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.