Plus: my top ten posts of 2022
I savor these last moments of the holidays. They’re the perfect time to reflect, rethink, and redirect my site’s content to better serve you, my dear readers, in the coming year.
In doing so, it’s always interesting to learn which posts resonated most strongly with readers throughout the previous year. For example, as 2022 progressed, it was especially interesting to see how my posts that focused on teaching the The Great Gatsby rose to the top of the list. In fact, the popularity of my Gatsby posts caused me to create a dedicated pull-down menu you’ll find under the blog menu at the top of every page.
My collection of Gatsby posts is now twenty posts strong, and I know that number will only grow during 2023. I’ve been doing more reading and researching on Fitzgerald’s classic and have more posts planned on new topics to teach such as water as a symbol, the acts of vanishing found throughout the novel and their significance, a piece on Jordan Baker (to flesh out my reportage on the novel’s key characters, similar to the one I wrote for Wolfsheim), and more. It’s all in the service of students and how we as teachers can better bring this novel and its myriad nuances to life for them. Of course, this site is NOT turning into a Gatsby website. Since teaching involves so many texts, there will continue to be a plethora of topics covered.
However, also know this: I am doing more reading and researching on the loss of focus (and the disengagement it fosters) that teachers are witnessing in their students today. Check out my post on the new book by Johann Hari, Stolen Focus, for a brief rundown on what I’m learning. I see this phenomenon in my own students. Our brains are grappling with the onslaught of interruptions and distractions that is endemic and vital to the internet and its ancillary social media.
So for 2023, expect these three things from this website:
- More Gatsby posts
- More information to help you understand and address our students’ capacities for the focus that learning requires
- More ways to stay enthusiastic about teaching. It’s a tough profession and you are needed more than ever to stay in the classroom. After all, what other profession allows you to dwell daily in your literary passions and share those passions with others?!
Lastly, THANK YOU for reading my website!
I know that around 80 percent of my readers are what Google calls “organic visitors,” readers who search for a specific topic, land on a post I’ve written, read it for ideas, and then jump back out. Further, ten percent of my readers are termed “referrals.” These readers find my site by clicking on a link embedded in another article or website. I love that. It’s gratifying to know that other writers and bloggers see value in the information I produce.
However, another ten percent of my readers, visit my site specifically for ideas, resources, and inspiration to maintain their enthusiasm for teaching. These readers compel me to persevere with blogging, and I will be acknowledging them soon with a post that shares the specific ways this website has helped them tackle their content and love their jobs more. THANK YOU and cheers to a great 2023!
Without further ado, here are my top twelve posts of 2022!
Book bentos: my first attempt
Book bentos are an alternative to the traditional book report. Here are resources and tips.Keep reading
Three Poems to Pair with The Great Gatsby
Have you ever wanted a few poems to pair with The Great Gatsby? Y’know, a few good, not-too-longish poems to work as bell-ringers, if needed, or add-on texts to supplement literary analysis essays?Keep reading
The Great Gatsby 2013 Film Chapter Breakdown (updated 1/31/22)
While planning lessons a few days ago, I wanted to know exactly how Baz Luhrman’s Gatsby aligns with the novel. To find out, I watched the movie with novel in hand. Here’s the chapter breakdown.Keep reading
“Where I’m From” Poems
My All-Time Favorite Poetry Activity (updated Aug. 2021) “Where I’m From” poems are perfect for going back to school! Read on to get acquainted with this awesome poem that every teacher I know raves about. Have you heard of George Ella Lyon? She’s an American writer and teacher from Kentucky who wrote a poem several…Keep reading
Seven Articles to Pair with The Great Gatsby
During this quick (and my first!) attempt at teaching Gatsby, I’m feverishly collecting notes and jotting down ideas for my teaching of it next year. Here are three articles to check out for your next Gatsby unit.Keep reading
The Canterbury Tales Lesson Plan Resources
This year, I taught The Canterbury Tales for the first time. Here are the resources and activities I used.Keep reading
Where I’m From Poem Templates
Plus photos and links to help you plan Back-to-school is the perfect time for Where I’m From poems. I’ve decided to repost this article from last May to help you add this great activity to your opening days. Where I’m From poems from the author and poet George Ella Lyons… you just can’t write enough…Keep reading
Finally! One-pager success!
Plus: the idea that finally made one-pagers work for my class One more try. That’s right. In December, I decided to give one-pager graphic essays one more try. In case you’re unfamiliar with one-pagers… visit Spark Creativity for a complete explanation and also some awesome one-pager templates. One-pagers, in a nutshell, offer a way for…Keep reading
Life Lessons from Beowulf
I tried this Life Lessons in Beowulf essay with high school seniors. Here’s how it went.Keep reading
Pros and Cons of Padlet
My first impressions of this app for my high school classroom Yesterday, I wrote about six assignments I am using to test-drive the discussion board app called Padlet. Click here for a link to that post. Read on for my first impressions in the form of pros and cons. While I’m using it now for…Keep reading
Thank you! I so appreciate your taking the time to read this post! This year, please let me know how I can help you maintain your enthusiasm for teaching. What are you struggling with? What good thing happened recently? Leave me a message on my Contact page and I’ll do my best to address your requests or give you a virtual high five! Again, thank you so much for your continued readership. Cheers to an enthusiastic 2023!
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