Tag Archives: teaching

White Privilege Explained in Oral Poetry

Tennessee teacher Hawn was fired in part for showing a video of an oral poet reciting this poem about white privilege.

Posted in Lacey (Kyla Jenée) | Also tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Teachers as Literature’s Missionaries

If literature teaches foundational social values, then teachers can be seen as missionaries.

Posted in Goethe | Also tagged , , | Leave a comment

Great Teachers Inspire Great Teachers

This being Teacher Appreciation Week, I nominate Charlotte Bronte’s Miss Temple as exemplary teacher.

Posted in Bronte (Charlotte) | Also tagged , , | Leave a comment

Pratchett’s Ideal Teacher

Terry Pratchett describes his ideal teacher in “Thief of Time.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Also tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Remembering a Favorite English Teacher

My favorite English teacher just died after years of Alzheimer’s. I share the epitaph from Gray’s “Country Churchyard,” which he introduced me to.

Posted in Gray (Thomas) | Also tagged , , | Leave a comment

Read Your Children Poetry

A middle school teacher describes how he starts every class with a poem. Also, a note on school shootings, this one at a local high school.

Posted in Uncategorized | Also tagged , | Leave a comment

Graded Essays Are Like Chopped Wood

If you are a teacher swamped by end-of-term essays, Frost’s “Woodpile” has some good advice for you.

Posted in Frost (Robert) | Also tagged , , | Leave a comment

Recovering from the Semester

After an exhausting semester, I feel like Tennyson’s Arthur after his final battle. I’m spending my winter break with my wife and my mother in Sewanee, Tennessee, my version of Avalon.

Posted in Tennyson (Alfred Lord) | Also tagged , , | Leave a comment

School under the Sea: Reeling, Writhing…

To welcome teachers and students back to school, here’s a description of education under the sea, as experienced by Lewis Carroll’s Gryphon and Mock Turtle.

Posted in Carroll (Lewis) | Also tagged , , | Leave a comment


  • Literature is as vital to our lives as food and shelter. Stories and poems help us work through the challenges we face, from everyday irritations to loneliness, heartache, and death. Literature is meant to mix it up with life. This website explores how it does so.

    Please feel free to e-mail me [rrbates (at) smcm (dot) edu]. I would be honored to hear your thoughts and questions about literature.

  • Sign up for weekly newsletter

    Your email will not be shared or sold.
    * = required field

    powered by MailChimp!