Be a #SwifttokDetective in the English Classroom

Use this fun activity to get students excited about thesis and persuasive writing. It Started On My FYP I’m not ashamed to admit that I freaking love TikTok. My feed is mostly DIY house projects, cooking, witchcraft (more on this another time), astrology, and #Swifttok. For those of you who aren’t on TikTok, the thing that makes TikTok amazing is the “For You Page.” The algorithm knows what users like

A Snow Day Memory

Every time it snows, I think of my mother. We don’t get much snow here in Charlotte, but every once in a while, we get a dusting. Yesterday we got quite a bit and our backyard has some pretty winter wonderland vibes, and I can’t help but think of my mom who would have turned 64 tomorrow. Here’s a piece that was published a few years ago about my mother

Using Stranger Things to Teach Suspense

Your students are tired of reading the same three “scary stories.” It’s time for an upgrade. Spooky season is here. Sweater weather has arrived. Teachers are getting burnt out! October is always one of the more grueling teaching months of the year. The students are tired, you’re exhausted, and Thanksgiving break seems really far away. If you’re looking for an activity to get your students engaged and to give yourself

Mexican Gothic is the Updated Gothic Novel We Need

Add this novel to engage more students and address topics of Colonialism and Feminism in your classroom. What is Mexican Gothic?  Mexican Gothic, a novel by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is an update of the classic genre often taught in literature classrooms. In the novel, Noemi is sent to help her cousin Catalina. Her cousin might be experiencing a mental breakdown. Noemi arrives at High Place and immediately feels out of place. The

Why You Need to Be in a Book Club

Being part of a book club has been a gamechanger for my mental health. For as long I can remember, I always thought I wanted to be the type of woman who was in a book club. I had visions of a Mad Men situation where a bunch of women holding martinis in fabulous clothes were sitting in a sunken living room talking about literature. Then I went to grad

First Week Rapport-Building Activity

Try these Reflect and Share Cards with Your Students Students are starting to trickle back into the classroom. For many, they haven’t seen the inside of a classroom in over a year. My son, for instance, spent the entire school year at home. He starts school in less than a week, and I’m curious to see how he adjusts to spending the day in a classroom with peers. My son

The Secret to Making a Great Sandwich

It’s Back to School time, which means it’s time you get a handle on how to make the best sandwiches. It’s back to school time, which means it’s also the time of year that parents and guardians are getting lunches ready for their children and themselves. I grew up with a dad who made the best sandwiches on earth. I don’t say this lightly. The man has a gift for

Get to Know Your Students & Review Figurative Language with this Back to School Ice Breaker

Try this activity to get to know your students and review figurative language. For many teachers, the start of the school year not only means learning who your students are but also learning what your students know. If you’re looking for an activity that serves as a figurative language review, that gives you a writing sample, serves as an icebreaker activity, and builds classroom community, look no further. Since the

Classroom Rules Are Meant to Be Broken

It’s long past time we stop with the incessant rules in the classroom. The day before my first day of teaching a veteran teacher reminded me to have my rules set and ready to go. “You can always loosen up, but you can never tighten up,” she said, wagging her finger. While I do, mostly, agree with the idea of being a bit of a hardass at the start of

5 Things Teachers Can Do in the Last Stretch of Summer

Fall is coming. What can you do to stay refreshed and ready? I know you don’t want to hear this, teacher friends, but summer is almost over. Have you noticed the fun donut-shaped floaties have been replaced with school supplies at Target? I’m not saying it’s time to abandon the pool or put down your beach read, but here are some things I like to do as the school year