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Julia Taylor
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Life is the dull bits--savor them.
As my school gets ready to celebrate and say good-bye to another senior class (seven of them this year), I found myself looking at old commencement speeches that I've given to honor my former advisees.  Having spent four years as their humanities teacher an...

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When in doubt, move closer
  It is all-school meeting.  We are gathered on the carpet of our common room for announcements and commendations.  Some students are flopped over each other, some stand slightly outside the circle. The "circle" is really more like a sloppy oval that someon...

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A little story about a wise teacher who saw the potential in a student's desire to alter an assignment.

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The Best Writing Assignments: The Real Ones
My 13 year-old son, who attends the small school where I teach, hates homework.  He declared last night, "it's by far my least favorite thing about school."   Yet I watched him eagerly working on an assignment last night.  No, it wasn't the pages and pages ...

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How to survive (or even thrive in) the last days of the teaching year: a basic to-do list
I've noticed several recent tumblr jokes, blog posts, and Facebook warnings about the cruelness of the end of a teacher's year.  It's a given that this is a challenging time of the school year, perhaps even more so than the beginning, when we're thrown into...

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Embrace the Mess: Collaborative, Student-driven projects
Embracing the messiness of important learning . . . Student's display on Frank Sinatra.  I'm getting ready for it--the mess in my classroom.  In fact, it has already begun.  Today, there were three tri-fold display boards, splayed across tables next to a hu...

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Julia Taylor commented on a post on Blogger.
I recommend this article by a college professor who affirms my belief that students need to be treated /instructed as writers, not  simply students of the 5-paragraph essay (or whatever format is often taught, with little else), that exposing them to a variety of genres is key, and , and that : "Ultimately, college professors want students who appreciate and love learning and language, students who have had rich and varied experiences as readers and writers. Students who have confidence in their own voices and ideas along with a balancing humility that they have much left to learn are a joy to teach and are likely to thrive in college."  See rest of article: http://radicalscholarship.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/what-do-college-professors-want-from-incoming-high-school-graduates/

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How to grow a student writer, in ten easy steps #teaching #writing
How to grow a writer: A simple, but crucial step-by-step approach: 1. Start early. Surround your sapling-writer with books--and read often.  Tell them stories about themselves. The goals: They delight in the sound of words. They observe the world around the...

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Julia Taylor commented on a post on Blogger.
Just came across your blog (via twitter) and was stopped in particular by this post. I'd love for the money that's spent on testing (in order to label) and medicating kids to be spent on designing and creating schools for individual learners--a whole mess of different types of schools that help kids learn.  Instead, as you say, we continue to try to fit the kids into the single system, and kids end up not feeling empowered by knowing how they learn, but rather how different and problematic their proclivities (whether "daydreaming" or whatever) are.     (Feel free to check out my blog: theteacherawayfromherdesk.blogspot.com)  Julia
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