Whatever It Takes

From a book I am reading, by writer’s I highly respect, comes this statement, “Whatever it takes — that’s the job of a teacher.”

A statement like this sets off alarms in my head, but for this Monday, I want to do something that I ask of my students. When they first read a text, I ask my students to read “with the grain.” That means they are going to accept it as true, agree with the author, and see what’s there. Later they are asked to read against the grain, which we will do later this week. For now, let’s go with it.  Continue reading “Whatever It Takes”


If you’re reading this, and it’s the top post, you’re on the ground floor of this project. This is the quiet launch of Make Them Master It, a space for strengthening teachers to help their students do more. Too often, the onus of student learning is put on the teacher instead of the learner.

In just over a decade of teaching, I have only seen this problem get worse — teachers do more and more of the work, while students become less and less responsible for their own learning. More and more students do the minimum (sometimes less) and expect the maximum.

Well, I’ve had enough! Over the years I have developed some instructional strategies that encourage students to do more of the heavy lifting. I would like to begin sharing those with you.  If you join me, together we can turn the tide. Together we can get more from our students. Together we can Make Them Master It!

What do you say?