Why you (and I) should never stop learning

Continued learning:

 Just as I want my students to be life-long learners, I also make sure that I am continually learning.  I took a Blackboard training course this summer.  This fall I completed the adjunct certification course at Lone Star: Kingwood.  I am presenting at several conferences in the spring and am looking forward to learning from the other presenters at those conferences.  And I have been doing focused reading on multimodal classes and the newest research in medieval literature, focusing on Judith.  In addition, I am writing a paper for publication on Gulliver’s Travels and am learning quite a bit through that as well.

Learning is a responsibility, a privilege, and a great deal of fun.  I want my students to realize that and have experienced it in my classroom.  

128-word philosophy of education

Learning is one of the greatest joys in my life and I want to pass that love of learning on to my students.

Great teachers have a passion for teaching and for their subject matter. They teach communication through writing and speaking and prepare their students for critical thinking and research.  Great teachers make the information available to the students in a way the students can understand.  The great teachers also concentrate on providing intense and focused learning environments as well as the encouragement for students to learn which equip the students to function well throughout their lives, both personally and professionally. 

Learning is a responsibility, a privilege, and a great deal of fun.  I want my students to realize that and have experienced it in my classroom. 


Short teaching philosophy:

I found a fifty-word teaching philosophy at So You Want to Teach?, and since I am working on my cv and philosophy and so forth, I decided I would try it. Here’s my first (and maybe last) attempt at describing my practical approach to teaching:

Learning is fun and reading and writing are essential skills. Because practice increases competence, students practice a lot. They read and analyze; they write and revise their work. Assignments have clear real-world applications and I model how to read or write the assignments. In addition, questions or prewriting helps guide them through the topic before they begin writing.

English Jokes, to relieve the grading crunch

I know these are mostly younger ages, but they still ought to make you smile!

Teacher: John. Give me a sentence beginning with ‘I’.
John: I is the…
Teacher: No, John. You must say “I am” not “I is.”
John: All right. I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.
(Hutchinson 1985, 86)

My friend said he knew a man with a wooden leg named Smith.
So I asked him “What was the name of his other leg?”

Headmaster: I’ve had complaints about you, Johnny, from all your teachers. What have you been doing?
Johnny: Nothing, sir.
Headmaster: Exactly.

Mother: “Did you enjoy your first day at school?”
Girl: “First day? Do you mean I have to go back tomorrow?”

PUPIL: “Would you punish me for something I didn’t do?”
TEACHER:” Of course not.”
PUPIL: “Good, because I didn’t do my homework.”

Teacher: Did you father help your with your homework?
Student: No, he did it all by himself

One teacher said this to his students before the final test.
“A” is for God.
“B” is for me and my wife.
“C” is for the perfect student.
“D & F” are for all other students.

Student: I don’t think I deserve a zero on this test.
Teacher: I agree, but it’s the lowest mark I can give you.

Teacher: Beebo, your composition on “My Dog” is exactly the same as your brother’s. Did you copy his?
Beebo: No, teacher, it’s the same dog!

Teacher: What do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?
Beebo: A teacher

After an English test with particularly disastrous results, the teacher scolds the class and then she asks that everybody, who thinks that they are not particularly good at English, should stand up. For quite a while all students just look at each other, but nobody moves. Finally, Johnny slowly stands up. “Very good, Johnny”, says the teacher, “at least you realize where your weakness is and that gives you an opportunity to improve.” “Oh, but I don’t think I’m very bad at English, Madam” says Johnny, “I simply felt sorry for you standing there all alone.”

Fun Quotes from my Blog

In Learning to Teach: A discussion of a syllabus I wrote:

I am going back to a syllabus that more accurately reflects my “personality and style.” Do you think the school has antique parchment in hot pink for photocopies?

I think that the impetus to do something fun with my online syllabus at Davis English came from this thinking.

How to Use a Text You Didn’t Pick says:

The text is not supposed to be a bear trap that springs closed on your classroom and holds it still till it bleeds out. It is supposed to be a starting point, a jumping off point, a useful tool for your teaching. Use it; don’t let it abuse you.

This is hysterical! (And a smidgen cynical… and true.)



To: Professor____________________ From:___________________________

I think my grade in your course,___________________, should be

changed from ______ to _______ for the following reasons:

______1. The persons who copied my paper got a higher grade than I did.

______2. The person whose paper I copied got a higher grade than I did.

______3. This course will lower my Grade Point Average and I won’t get


______Law School

______Medical School ______Graduate School

______Dental School ______My Fraternity/Sorority

______The Mickey Mouse Club ______Tri County Tech

______4. I have to get an A in this course to balance the F in


______5. I’ll lose my scholarship.

______6. I’m on a varsity sports team and my tutor couldn’t find a copy

of your exam.

______7. I didn’t come to class and the person whose notes I used

did not cover the material asked for on the exam.

______8. I studied the basic principles and the exam wanted every

little fact.

______9. I learned all the facts and definitions but your exams

asked about general principles.

_____10. You are prejudiced against:

______Males ______Jews ______Blacks

______Females ______Catholics ______Whites

______Protestants ______Moslems ______Minorities

______Chicanos ______People ______Students

_____11. If I flunk out of school my father will disinherit me or at least cut my allowance.

_____12. I was unable to do well in this course because of the following


______mono ______broken baby finger

______acute alcoholism ______pregnancy

______VD ______fatherhood

_____13. You told us to be creative but you didn’t tell us exactly

how you wanted that done.

_____14. I was creative and you said I was just shooting the bull.

_____15. I don’t have a reason; I just want a higher grade.

_____16. The lectures were:

______too detailed to pick out important points.

______not explained in sufficient detail.

______too boring.

______all jokes and not enough material.

______all of the above.

_____17. This course was:

______too early, I was not awake.

______at lunchtime, I was hungry.

______too late, I was tired.

_____18. My (dog, cat, gerbil) (ate, wet on, threw up on) my

(book, notes, paper) for this course.

_____19. Other___________________________________________________

from RightWingNation