From the Trenches

Aiming for the middle ground.

Read the Printed Word!

quotes Hillary likes

"A room without books is like a body without a soul."— Marcus Tullius Cicero

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Stuck moment: Hey, did you see that waiter just bump into me and not apologize? How rude! That loud group over there is making me crazy… And that woman — can’t she control her kids? I’ve been looking forward to this party so much, but now I’m so irritated that I can’t even enjoy being…


"This is a sad day for public education" - Randi Weingarten, head of the American Federation of Teachers

Yes, Randi. Yes, it is.

Yesterday, a judge in Los Angeles decided the case Vergara v. California, with a ruling which effectively puts an end to laws that protect teachers from…

Couldn’t have said it better myself. ^^^

Newton’s 3rd law of motion explains why BATs [Badass Teacher Association] came into being: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. They are the reaction to the heavy-handed ed reformers. Both sides could do well to remember that they are stepping on many heads in the middle as the scramble to do battle.


Teachers love their job but feel undervalued, unsupported and unrecognised

The survey challenges some stereotypical views of the profession. For example, job satisfaction rates are much more affected by classroom behaviour than class size. And most teachers find appraisals and feedback constructive: 62% of teachers, on average across countries, said that the feedback they receive in their school led to moderate or large improvements in their teaching practices. But between 22% and 45% of teachers in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Italy, Spain, and Sweden said that they have never received feedback in their current school, compared to an average of 13% across the 34 countries surveyed.


What is tone?

Tone refers to an author’s use of words and writing style to convey his or her attitude towards a topic. Tone can be defined as what the author feels about the subject. What the reader feels is known as the mood.

Tip: Don’t confuse tone with voice. Voice can be explained as the author’s personality expressed in writing. Tone = Attitude. Voice = Personality.

Tone (attitude) and voice (personality) create a writing style. You may not be able to alter your personality but you can adjust your attitude. This gives you ways to create writing that affects your audience’s mood.

The mechanics

Tone is conveyed through diction (choice and use of words and phrases), viewpoint, syntax (grammar; how you put words and phrases together), and level of formality. It is the way you express yourself in speech or writing.

How do you find the correct tone?

You can usually find a tone by asking these three questions: 

  1. Why am I writing this?
  2. Who is my intended audience?
  3. What do I want the reader to learn, understand, or think about?

In formal writing, your tone should be clear, concise, confident, and courteous. The writing level should be sophisticated, but not pretentious.
In creative writing, your tone is more subjective, but you should always aim to communicate clearly. Genre sometimes determines the tone.

Here are 155 Words to Describe an Author’s Tone

by Amanda Patterson


This new ad shows how girls are discouraged from science and engineering both directly and indirectly.

Suuuuuuper important.


“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

“At a time like this that’s all you can think to say?”

“Nonsense. You’re only saying that because no one ever has.”

“I don’t think I’m quite familiar with that phrase.”

“I would not say such things if I were you!”

“I do not suppose you could speed things up?”

“Skip to the end!”

“That is the sound of ultimate suffering.”


Yes, you can teach creativity. You give people a set of tools and techniques and approaches, and you help them gain the necessary mindset. Creativity is a result of knowledge, skills, and attitudes that allow you to be a problem-solver.
The always great Tina Seelig explains how to teach creativity in her interview with VentureBeat. (via creativesomething)
This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety. Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals—sounds that say listen to this, it is important.

Gary Provost (via tuongexists)

Holy crap, what just happened there… (via cyrusgabriel)

Totally using this for teaching about sentence variation wrt style :D

(via wildlywandering)

(via wildlywandering)

‎So avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don’t use very sad, use morose. Language was invented for one reason, boys - to woo women - and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do. It also won’t do in your essays.
John Keating, Dead Poet’s Society (via perfect)

(via girlcanteach)



Put a number in my ask and I’ll answer!


1. Tell about a student that exceeded your expectations

2. Explain your favorite lesson, project, or assessment you gave

3. Tell about a student that you would [secretly] call your favorite

4. Brag on your favorite [teacher] co-worker

5. Brag on your favorite [staff] co-worker

6. Describe your classroom management style

7. What’s your favorite go-to teacher outfit?

8. Tell a substitute horror story

9. Explain what discipline looks like in your school

10. Tell about a pair [or group] of students that are better together than apart

11. If you could change one thing about your school, what would it be?

12. How long do you see yourself teaching?

13. You have to trade jobs with one person in your school - who would it be?

14. Tell a story of a student that you will remember for the rest of your teaching career

15. What is the best thing about your school?

16. What do you think students remember most about your class?

17. What does lunchtime look like for you at school?

18. Did you ever think you’d be a teacher when you were younger? If no, how’d you end up there?

19. How is teaching different than your expectations in college of what teaching would be?

20. If you could pick one student to have in your class again, who would it be?

Just got home from parent night…feel free to ask me things :) 

List to look at later

(via wildlywandering)

While I hate to see colleagues stressed, it’s nice to know we aren’t alone in our frustration.