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Are you living in an echo chamber?

Sometimes you just have to teach off script. Here’s why. I’ve been teaching American literature for over 25 years, and it enables me to raise all kinds of issue of central importance today, including our persistent failure to move beyond the racist attitudes present at the founding of the United States. But sometimes we need

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Why we do this!

As some of you know, I use my first two weeks of classes to schedule face-to-face meetings with individual students in my classes so that I can get to know them better. This is one of my top strategies for increasing participation in class, and it really works. But this week I had a first

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Flourishing Teacher Fall Retreat Now Available!

I’ve been working all summer on this retreat, so I’m so excited to finally make it available. If you are anxious about the start of the school year and need a vocational renewal, this retreat is for you! I extended the work I did on my book to provide strategies for success with Zoom, as

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Are you dreading fall of 2020 classes?

If so, you are not alone. This might be the single most frustrating summer-running-up-to-classes that I’ve experienced in my career. Uncertainty and anxiety do not make for a fun start to the school year. That, and trying to plan our our teaching schedules around our children’s schedules. At least we won’t be bored. If you

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Embrace the Lace!

The inevitable has happened around here–the Queen Anne’s Lace is in full bloom, often beautifully interlaced with bright blue chicory flowers. To me this means that the start of classes is right around the corner. Of course, because of the ‘Rona this semester is a bit more difficult and anxiety-provoking than most, but I maintain

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On Being vs. Doing

I use an app called “We Croak” that reminds me, five times a day, that I will die one day. Could be any minute–so the notifications appear on my phone at any time, day or night. Totally random. And the notifications come with quotations. This is the one that appeared this morning when I clicked

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Keep Calm and COVID On

True confessions: I haven’t completed my book order yet for fall 2020. Yes, I’m one of those faculty members. I just found out that I have to comply this week so I will. Reluctantly. But here’s what I’m not doing right now. I’m not prepping my classes, adjusting my syllabi, and definitely not thinking about

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Embrace Your Students

It is useful to remember that students often enter our classes completely terrified of us. They also never seem to know (for better or worse) that we are also terrified. The good news is that is doesn’t have to be that way at all.

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