No, Virginia, there is no extra credit.

Ah, the glamorous life of an English teacher.

On deck this week are the first exams for my ESL developmental writing students. These are the students who have placed just below college-level writing because English is not their native language and they need just a little bit of catching up. Because an entrance exam placed them in this course, they need to take an exit exam to pass on to freshman composition.

This week, I will be giving the first exit exam to my two sections of this course. If they pass, they can register for English 101 in the Spring. If they don’t pass this week, they’ll have one more chance during finals week, which runs up to December 23rd for us this year. Continue reading

Am I a teacher or a twit?

Click me! Click me!

I’m off a-visitin’ today!

Renee at Lessons from Teachers and Twits has generously given Wednesdays at her blog to those who have stories to tell of a teacher who was particularly memorable or who had an influence in their lives. It’s her TWITS series: Teachers Who I Think Scored or Teachers Who I Think Sucked. And today, that’s where I’ll be. Just click on the smart, talented and lovely lady to the right!

I feel I need to offer a quick explanation of the teacher I chose to discuss. For many, including me, the first thing that comes to mind when we hear “a teacher who had an influence” is our favorite teacher, or the one who made a positive impact on us. When I started brainstorming to write my guest post, I was certainly starting with the positive role models I had over the years. Continue reading


The days have grown cooler finally, and the leaves are slowly beginning their colorful descent to a still-sodden ground. It’s been a relatively tame autumn this year. Hillsides that often burst with shades of orange, red, yellow, green, and even purple are now blanketed only with muted hues of yellow and green, an occasional spot of red, and some pockets of no color at all where leaves have already fallen. It’s a faded glory to be sure, but when bright, delicate morning light streams through the trees, it’s beautiful enough that one must take pause. Continue reading