This post is part of a blog hop that introduces the Literary League! Check out all of the blogs in the link-up below to read about great first day of school activities and to get to know the teachers that make up the Literary League!  About Me Hello! I’m the Daring English Teacher, and this will be my sixth year teaching high school English; however, teaching is actually my second career. I started out working in public relations after graduating with a degree in journalism. I loved writing press releases, managing media campaigns, and traveling to different parts of the world with my clients, but I felt this strong desire to do more for my community. So, I went back to school and earned my teaching credential and Master’s in Education. I mainly teach freshman English, although some years I teach sophomores as well. However, I must admit: the freshman curriculum is my favorite. I mean, who doesn't love it? I get to read “The Odyssey,” “Romeo and Juliet,” and “To Kill a M...
With the new school year on the horizon, many teachers across the nation, myself included, are preparing for the back-to-school season. The first few days back to school after summer break are always a bit chaotic: students’ schedules are changing, the new year’s routine is beginning, and teachers and students are getting to know one another. Once the ice-breakers and getting to know you activities of the first week back to school are over, I like to teach my students a quick lesson on annotating text before diving into our short story unit. There are two reasons why I start the school year with teaching annotation: one, I find it to be a very useful skill that helps students in all areas of school; two, I want all of my students on the same page (or at least the same chapter) when it comes to reading text; and three, knowing how to annotate text is part of the common core curriculum. Also, I like to teach this in the beginning so that students don’t highlight an entir...
You’ve send out dozens of resumes and finally landed an interview for your first teaching job. After your celebrate getting the interview, you need to do some preparation to make sure that you do your best. In order to stand out and be the best candidate you can be, you need to: Be Professional Be Prepared Be Yourself Be Professional 1. Dress appropriately. I can’t tell you how many job interviews and career fairs I’ve been a part of where potential candidates did not dress professionally. A suit and tie, or a suit and collared shirt isn’t necessarily required, but you should at least wear dress slacks or a knee length pencil shirt and an appropriate top. This helps your stand out and look professional. The last thing you want is to look like a student. 2. Use appropriate language in your interview. Do not, I repeat, do not talk about inappropriate topics during your interview. You are a professional. The interview is no place for jokes, sarcasm, slang, or foul l...
I remember the very first time I read Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.” I was in tenth grade, and I immediately fell in love with it. I fell in love all over again with the classic American novel the first time I read the book as a teacher. And now, as I read the novel as a parent, I’ve gained a whole new love, appreciation, and respect for everything this novel is and everything it stands for. Several months ago, you can only imagine how delighted I was to read that Harper Lee would soon be publishing another novel –and that it was tied to Mockingbird. I was giddy with excitement. And today, the eve of the novel’s publication, it feels like Christmas Eve. My book is preordered on Amazon, and I can guarantee you that every.single.time I hear a truck driving through my neighborhood my heart rate will increase in anticipation of its delivery! To celebrate Harper Lee’s new novel, “Go Set a Watchman,” several English teachers on TpT came together to throw a sale, and you...
One of the simplest ways to get to know your new students is to have them write about themselves. This is one of the reasons why I typically assign a personal narrative essay  or personal statement within the first couple weeks of school. I don’t grade these essays critically, and I don’t look for specific grammatical errors, either. Instead, I am interested in getting to know my students. I want to know who they are. I want to know where they come from. I want to know what they’ve experienced. I want to know their hopes, their dreams, their failures, and their fears. Getting to know my students through their personal narratives allows me to have a glimpse into their life –one that if often times very beneficial for me as their English teacher. Assigning a personal narrative in the beginning of the school year doesn’t have to mean assigning a full, five-paragraph essay. These personal narratives can be anywhere between a sentence long to several paragraphs. Here are ...