About Me

I teach writing at Lafayette High School in Lexington, Kentucky.  For sixteen years, I was a straight English teacher, doing time in both AP Lit and AP Lang, Chapter I reading, ACT prep, RTI-Reading Plus, regular/general, college bound/honors, American-British-World Lit classrooms, battered and bruised by standardized, institutionalized, cookie-cutter approaches and teaching to the test.

But then I landed a job teaching writing as an elective in a performing arts magnet program, the School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCAPA) which is embedded at Lafayette.  All day. Every day.  W-R-I-T-I-N-G.  Stories. Poems. Vignettes. Screenplays. Novels. Essays.  Craziness on the page.

Teaching is a bit of a stretch for what I do in this job.  I am mostly a life coach, an editor, the classroom barista, moral compass (ahem), and workshop facilitator.  The kids do all the work; I just hang out, hold hands, harangue and cajole when necessary, and put ridiculous grades into our district’s data system.  I love my students.  To them and to the teachers out there who are looking for writing lesson plans, I dedicate this blog.

The format is simple. I will fling a writing lesson at my students and see what happens.  Sometimes nothing but a giant concrete egg will happen. Sometimes amazing, shimmery things with wings will happen. But whatever happens, I will post a few of my students’ pieces here along with my lesson plan.

Fellow teachers, I hope you find something here you might try even as the hounds of standardized testing stand baying at your door.  Throw them a bone, shut the door, and turn your kids on to the greatest test of all – their imagination against a pristine, white sheet of paper.  Let stories rule the day.

9 Comments

  1. I stumbled upon your blog as I was seeking out ways to incorporate more creative writing in my classroom. I’m a first year teacher (educated in Kentucky, living in Savannah) and I’m finding your posts so refreshing and so inspiring to read! Thank you!

    • Jeannie,
      Yes, I will write a blog about this soon… maybe today! I use technology for publishing and collaboration with student writers a lot. Are you familiar with Alice Keeler’s website? http://alicekeeler.com/ She’s a great resource and her website is a treasure trove of great ideas that can be adapted for ELA and writing. Hope your summer is going well! I’m sorry I was so tardy on replying to this question. It looks like you posted this in MAY!! Yikes – and it’s been hanging out here in my “pending” comments since then.

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