Author Archives: englishparsons

About englishparsons

A happy English teacher with massive potential for growth. Trying to share the best I have to offer with the teaching world.

Remembering Maya Angelou

  Today we lost one of the great voices in American language and literature.  Personally, I remember reading her novel, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings when I was in ninth or tenth grade, and then coming back to it … Continue reading

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My Senior Speech

So here we are… You’ve completed the requirements for graduation, and you’re walking out of this school with a diploma.  Or maybe you’re not… but regardless of whatever hoops you have or haven’t jumped through, you’ve reached an important milestone:  … Continue reading

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Going Low-Tech — And keeping things social

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Preview of my NCTE presentation: Mashup The Shakespeare!

Shakespeare’s words are where the power lies.  Your students’ active connection with these words is the greatest gift you can give them. –Peggy O’Brien, Director of Education at the Folger Shakespeare Library   We teach Shakespeare so that students can … Continue reading

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Sharing the Joy of Reading

Our English department always required some summer reading. …and historically, nobody did it. …Well, OK.  Some students did it.  Some LOVED it!  and many, many more didn’t bother. Then we got really good: we required students to ANNOTATE the summer … Continue reading

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My Senior Speech

To my students in the class of 2013: Congratulations!  You have just about finished your high school careers.  Your airplane has landed, and we’re on the runway, making the taxi to the terminal.  You may turn on your electronic devices … Continue reading

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Address to the Poetry Out Loud Audience, Tallahassee, FL

  Thank you, Sandy and Ken, for inviting me to speak at today’s event.  More importantly, thank you for hosting an event that has continued to for both my brain and for my heart over the past six years.  The … Continue reading

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Need a Writing Prompt for Friday? Try this one!

The products on display here (the Hutzler 571 Banana slicer and the Wenger GIANT Swiss Army Knife with 87 tools, for only $1400) invite sarcastic and often wildly funny product reviews from Amazon browsers and customers.  I discovered these reviews through a … Continue reading

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Mash Up The Shakespeare!

Ludacris channels Othello?  Justin Timberlake in conversation with Desdemona?  Bob Marley meets the characters of Twelfth Night?  It all happened last week in my English classes, and students made it work. I got the concept of mashed-up literature from Chris Shamburg, who … Continue reading

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Students distracted by technology? Then teach better!

A good friend just shared a New York Times article about teachers struggling with technology. Or fighting against it. Or reluctantly using it to teach. The weird thing about the article, in my opinion, was its title: “Technology Changing How … Continue reading

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