• Just Visiting

    John Warner is the author of Why They Can't Write: Killing the Five-Paragraph Essay and Other Necessities and The Writer's Practice: Building Confidence in Your Nonfiction Writing.


Gone Fishing: Introducing My Guest Blogger

Taking a trip of a lifetime and leaving someone to mind the store.

March 9, 2018

For the next two weeks I will be away from the blog on an Indian safari. While I’m missing teaching very much, one benefit is the increased freedom of scheduling. This is a trip we could never take as it only runs once a year in March, smack in the middle of the semester.

I’m excited, but I also didn’t want to leave the Just Visiting space empty in my absence, so I’ve enlisted one of my favorite bloggers to take my place.

Peter Greene is a veteran high school English teacher in Northwest Pennsylvania who regularly writes at his own blog, “Curmudgucation.” I have been reading him for years and often turn to his work to better inform my own perspective.

One of my mostly deeply held beliefs is that college faculty would benefit from more direct interaction and connection with high school teachers. The students in Peter’s class may be in my first-year writing class in a matter of months, and I think it helps to know where they’re coming from, their experiences, and what they believe about what they’ve been asked to do.

I also think it helps for college faculty to be better versed with what’s happening to teachers in K-12 education. The kind of assessment and accountability policies that are clearly coming for public higher ed have been at work in K-12 schools for decades. We can learn from their example. It wouldn’t hurt to show a little solidarity for those in the primary and secondary ranks, either. The current struggle in West Virginia is no less than a fight over whether or not public educators are provided a living wage to do the work we all claim to value.

I believe their fight is our fight, at least for those of us who have spent our time in the public sector.

Please enjoy Peter’s work, and I’ll see you all back here the week of March 26th.

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