Writing about writing—by the Write Source staff

Don’t Forget the Heartbeat

Near the end of The Yankee Years by Joe Torre and Tom Verducci, Joe Torre and Yankee General Manager Brian Cashman discuss the use of statistics in building a team. Since the annual publication of resources such as The Bill James Handbook, which provides past season statistics and next-year projections, baseball teams, more and more, are being built by the numbers. Bill James currently advises the Boston Red Sox, who have won two world championships during the last six years, so Cashman’s interest is understandable. Torre has not held the same view. (more…)

Ken Macrorie: Teacher and Truth Teller

The closest I came to a life-changing teacher is someone I knew only through his writing. The name of this teacher is Ken Macrorie, and his books Uptaught, Writing to be Read, Telling Writing, and The I-Search Paper are some of my favorites. What he says in these texts has changed the way I think about writing and learning. Here are a few of the things that I’ve learned from him: (more…)

Teaching to the Template

In my early childhood, I was under the impression that “people are people.” I assumed one template for everyone, thinking that some individuals merely tried harder than others. (That made bullies, in particular, difficult to understand.) (more…)

Better Late Than Never: A Review of Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark

I have come across many books about writing in my work because I write about writing myself. Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writing by Roy Peter Clark (Little, Brown, 2006) deserves special mention for two reasons: (1) It contains so much quality information and (2) it is so well written. (more…)

Grammar: What Made Me Care

When I was a college freshman, grammar was roughly as important to me as Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston’s crumbling relationship. Sure, I glanced at the US Weekly headlines in the Kroger checkout, and I performed the standard spell checks on my composition papers, but Brangelina? Subject-verb agreement? Who really cared? (more…)

Equal Is as Equal Does

Back in the early nineties, I taught English 101 for college freshmen for a couple of years. Besides covering the basics of composition and introducing students to the university library, English 101 was also supposed to present certain common topics of “scholarly discourse”—including gender issues and racial equality. (more…)

Warning: Early Elementary Teachers Need Help

In one episode of Boston Legal (season three), Candice Bergen defends a young first grade teacher who is accused of gross negligence because one of her students dies after a severe reaction to something he ate. In her closing argument, Bergen lists all of this teacher’s responsibilities and challenges, to emphasize that too much is expected of her. The jury is so moved by Bergen’s speech that they find the teacher not guilty of any crime. That’s life on a popular sitcom/drama. (more…)

Restoring the “Fun” in Fundamental

TheWritingTeacher.org has just published an article by Write Source staff writer Lester Smith. We encourage you to read what he has to say about “Learning, Frivolity, and ‘Leeroy Jenkins!’

A No-Frills Charter School and More

Recently I came across the following bits of information that any teacher-type should find interesting. (more…)

All Hail to the King

King Arne made a visit to Milwaukee recently, and at one point during his visit, he toured Bay View High School, a large public high school just south of the downtown area. The photograph in the newspaper showed the king marching down a hall with his minions following close behind. (more…)