Tag Archives: students

JOHN’S QUEST (The 70s were another century, weren’t they?)

John was one of the students who seemed to begin to think the year he spent in my class. He called me in New York when John Lennon was killed; I’d presented lyrics by the Beatles for analysis as poems, and he thought I’d have something wise to say. . I didn’t, but a few […]


I show my students a manuscript to illustrate my cut-and-paste method. I don’t sit at a computer and go from start to end; I jot down the thoughts and fragments as they come, in whatever order, and later tape the pieces in a notebook;     the next step is writing the connections that make […]

Back-to-School Special – Writings on Teaching and Schools

EMPATHY When I taught English in a small-town high school, one tenth-grade class included three tough girls. Theresa was bright and literate but she hung out with Laura, who was attractive, hard as nails, and totally uninterested in anything I had to say. The third member of the trio, Charlene, had neither Theresa’s intellect nor […]


When we moved up to the junior high for seventh grade, I was assigned to a homeroom that was some kind of catch-all. While all my friends and the high achievers were in other homerooms, mine consisted of everyone repeating seventh grade, all the hard-core discipline cases, several precociously mature girls, and boys who appeared […]