Latest posts from English

Jan 07 2014

No, really- don’t get comfortable

At the onset of this school year, I wrote a post entitled “Don’t Ever Get Comfortable”. When I wrote it, I was still reeling from the news that I’d had my teaching placement switched and that I would be teaching at the remedial level. I was extremely frustrated and upset, but ultimately it ended up…

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Jan 07 2014

In which I freeze a little

It’s amazing that a foot of snow and some sub-zero temperatures can send me spiraling into a strange alternate universe.  In this alternate universe, my sixteen day holiday break has turned into eighteen days, St. Louis has turned into a block of compacted ice and snow, and my brain (and probably the brains of my…

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Jan 03 2014

Home

Before the holiday break, my students wrote to a TLI (test prep program used across Arkansas) prompt. It was their summative expository writing essay test: There are many places we might feel “at home.” Your teacher has asked you to describe the place where you feel most at home. Before you begin to write, think…

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Dec 30 2013

“Is Mr. Heisinger’s class hard?”

It’s winter break, and I’m sitting at my old home in the northern suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, reflecting on my first 4 months of teaching. Recently, my homework completion rate—which miraculously rose to 80-90% at the beginning of October—has gone back down to about 25-30%, and I’ve found myself making excuses for why I can’t…

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Dec 19 2013

Romans 8:25

This is a different kind of tired. This is the kind of tired that may have permanently lost potentially the single most valuable tangible item I own. This is the kind of tired that drowns me, that puts a film over the earth, that beckons instantaneous tears and slow movements. The kind of tired that…

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Dec 13 2013

Lipstick and smiles

Ya’ll, teaching at a middle school is weird. I constantly think about how all of my friends chilling in Corporate America could never relate to what goes on here at RMS. Today, I was at scanning duty (which is a unique enough experience already) when I saw a girl coming up through the line. Even…

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Dec 12 2013

Creating readers

After we finished reading The Outsiders last week, one of my students looked up from the essay sitting in front of him to ask if he could borrow a copy of the book. He hadn’t missed any of the reading, so I didn’t understand why he’d want a copy of the book we’d just read.…

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Dec 10 2013

On Watching My Kids SOAR!

A student's thoughts from the SOAR conference

Yesterday, I took some of my students to the SOAR conference with the movers and shakers of my region to discuss opportunities for saving our region in the face of the decline of our biggest employer and the driver of our economy. It was an amazing experience to hear from so many of the people…

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Dec 10 2013

How to fix the achievement gap — part 3

I’ve written a couple of other blogs about my evolving attitudes on fixing the achievement gap.  This one will probably be the most personal out of all of them, because one of the big problems with the achievement gap has come home to roost in my family.  I have a wonderful son who came to…

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Dec 05 2013

What teaching has done to me

More specifically, what teaching at a low-income school has done for me. Two things you should know about who I was in college. 1. I was a joyous person. Not to say that my life was gilded or that I didn’t work my tail off for things or that I was a golden child who…

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