A response to a parent who questioned the value of high school English classes.

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I Did Not See This Coming

As she proceeded to start her lawn work, she realized she had more to say and stopped what she was doing. “I mean, I know you all need money, but why bother with these English classes when all you’re going to do is read novels?”

Color me not surprised. I figure her child is struggling to answer a key question: “Why do I have to…


To help us end this school year on a positive note, I asked my students, “How will you change the world?”

The name of the final unit in my classroom this year is “How Will You Change the World?” I approached this with my students by saying how much I wish someone had asked me that when I was considering college and career options. I also said we needed to end this dreadful year with an uplifting and confidence-building activity.

In my Junior and Senior sections, this unit combines college and career exploration with an exploration of how individuals can make a difference using their talents, skills, and education. The culminating activity is an essay entitled, “How I Will Save the…


In a review of my ramblings about education over the years, I noticed a pattern. I am consistently attempting to answer the question, “Why do I have to learn this?” In this post, I again try to answer that question.

It occurs to me that one way for students to better understand poetry is to write it. I had this epiphany this morning as I scribbled “Irrelevant.” As I was scribbling, I noticed a rhyme scheme and a pattern emerging, and they changed my thought process.

Yes, I know; it shocked me too.

I wondered to myself, post-scribbling, if what I experienced was like what “real poets” experience as they are writing a poem. What did I learn about the writing process by writing? What can my students learn about literature by writing?

In AP Literature and Composition, we spend…


If learning invites us to challenge our current perspective, writing to learn is the vehicle by which we can challenge it most effectively.

In my research on writing-to-learn, I found the following explanation from Colorado State University.

Generally, writing-to-learn activities are short, impromptu, or otherwise informal, and low-stakes writing tasks that help students think through key concepts or ideas presented in a course. Often, these writing tasks are limited to less than five minutes of class time or are assigned as brief, out-of-class assignments.

That’s not what I’m talking about here.

Instead, consider writing-to-learn, for the purposes of this article, as a longer, sustained process by which a writer probes the mind in the dark and musty places to gain insight about the…


Please, everyone, start listening to each other and following the data collected this school year to effect positive change.

As we round the bend toward the end of a challenging school year, we educators hear so much about the negative effects of remote and hybrid learning on students and families this year. Is there anything positive that has come from it? Yes.

At the very least, we have qualitative and quantitative data available to help us address the issues inherent in our education system. With such data, we can change priorities and eliminate policies that do not work.

After this year and the final quarter of last year, it is not enough to say, “This is the way it…


How can we process the painful truth about the “isms” in our culture to help our students realize a better future for themselves and others? By confronting each of them.

wordclouds.com

Recently, it was reported that six Dr. Seuss books are coming out of circulation due to racist imagery. I agree with the decision to remove them from the inventory list. They won’t be money-makers anymore. I have a suggestion for those texts already in print. Donate them to teacher-education programs. Let pre- and in-service teachers in all content areas struggle with them and their messages. Don’t bury our history; use it to have critical conversations about racism, stereotypes, and how our society has changed and remained the same. …


This is a perfect time to reimagine education. Are you with me?

Image from Pexels.com

What a school year! So many teachers have taken to the Internet to share their stories, both good and bad. I reviewed previous posts this morning. The theme is clear: We need to reimagine what education should be. My thoughts are not original, not by a long shot. However, it’s important to contribute to the conversation. Here are a few questions I have right now.

Why Do We Still Have Standardized Tests?


Creative Writing class helps young writers discover themselves.

By Heather Edick Using Canva

I teach a creative writing class by the seat of my pants. Why? Because each student who experiences the class is a unique individual. Creative writing is a personal endeavor; pre-established expectations should not hamper creative writers. Therefore, while the skeleton of the course is there, each item in that “curriculum” — such as it is — has the goal of helping students understand themselves better and find their voice.

To find their voice, creative writers explore their truth. What is it about the human condition they know, deep down, in the bones of their experience? What themes do they…


Technology innovations abound in education during the time of COVID. Are they all necessary?

Dan Malleck Flickr

Full disclosure: One of my nicknames in my immediate family is “gadget girl.” If it’s out there, I want it. This school year, however, I have learned there is a huge difference between wanting tech and needing it to be more effective. Here are a few thoughts in innovative technology adopted by teachers during this time. Should they stay in our toolbox, or could we teach and learn better without them?

Robotic Cameras Should Go

Heather M Edick

Heather M. Edick, M.S.Ed. teaches English in Pennsylvania. Her teaching goal: “Helping people accomplish more than they thought possible.”

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