That’s pretty much all I do, all the time.
I struggled with the order of the words for this blog. I mean, I teach about reading and writing. Sometimes I also teach about teaching reading and writing. Because I teach reading and writing, I constantly read and write. Everytime I read something, I think of how to teach it and I often want to write about it. And, of course, as a burgeoning academic I write about teaching, reading, and writing as well as teaching reading and writing (Oh, the difference a few commas make!). The three are all so intertwined that after debating the order of the words for about a week with my husband I decided on read. write. teach. Enough over-analyzing already. Let’s do this.
I decided to start this blog in the spring of 2012 because after over a decade in the New York City Public Schools and accumulating multiple higher ed degrees, I have decided I know something. I will never make the claim that I am an “expert” because I hate that word and the hierarchy it implies, but I have a large body of knowledge about teaching, reading, and writing, and it took me a while to realize that. I left the Department of Education to take a job with The City University of New York to teach English to community college students in the Fall of 2011. The distance I made between myself and the daily grind of teaching high school English in a Title I inner-city school and the culture of teacher blame allowed me to see that I have skills. And, with great love and respect to many of my colleagues in CUNY, I have met many folks in higher education who know very little about the skills and practices of good teaching that it has led me to believe that teachers–those who live that title–have a lot to share on how to make their classrooms–and post-secondary classrooms, too–better. I don’t think I could have started this blog before having had almost a dozen years of teaching under my belt, but a dozen was just right for me to begin to write.
Also, I have found that teaching creates a frenetic mind. Often I will be planning lessons and stumped on how to teach something, and then someone makes a suggestion and suddenly I remember, “Oh! I’ve done that! Why didn’t I think to reuse it?” So, in a very selfish way, this is a space for me to catalog what I know for myself because it seems my mind is incapable of having all my cool teaching tricks on call for me at a moment’s notice.
I started this blog to share what I know. It’s yours for the taking. Just please don’t steal and make it into a book or something, or I might have to get some of my old gangster students to beat the crap out of you and video it for YouTube…Just kidding…Sort of!
Amid our crazy world that thinks teachers aren’t worth the measly salaries and pensions they pay us, I want to carve out a small place to prove that teachers are intelligent, reflective, capable professionals to prove them (those corporate “experts”) wrong.
Lori Ungemah, Ed.D.
The first photo is my “I”m smart!” photo to impress you.
This photo is my “I’m fun & laid back” photo to impress you.
You can decide which one you prefer.