About This Blog

Please note that I do not accept unsolicited guest posts and do not respond to queries thereof.

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Your task is not to find a path, but to study the one you’re on.

- Cary Tennis

I’m a teacher. I like knowing what goes on behind other teachers’ classroom doors. I’m curious about how others see teaching and learning. I’d like to understand why some of us are so effective and satisfied, while others struggle to make sense of why we teach and what we’re doing wrong.

Sometimes we’re silent about the problems we face every day, because we suspect that if we were better at our jobs, we wouldn’t have those problems at all. But I like hearing about other people’s problems, especially other teachers. I find other teachers’ problems very interesting.

Some of my stories are here. I’d like to hear some of yours.

To read more about the genesis and philosophy of this blog, go here.

42 responses

  1. Nice blog. Thought I’d say hello. My husband grew up going to school in Montreal and I’ve always wondered how schools elsewhere function. I’ll keep an eye out for your experiences. Oh, and I am a teacher as well :)

  2. Dear Siobhan

    We have recently set up a student social network a platform targetting students, academics and enterprises for mutual benefit. Would love to have your blogs featured there where they are more visible and target the relevant audience.
    The services are entirely free and we even have free classifieds for a month. Do check it out at http://www.college-canteen.com and reach out to students worldwide, today.
    Thanks
    Priya
    Founder, College Canteen

  3. Hi! I just started a blog this week and I was wondering how you got your blog to be so popular! I really need some tips! It would be greatly appreciated if you could reply! Thank you!

    • Janie: Congrats on starting a blog! I didn’t really aim for my blog to be popular – I just wrote about things that interested me and tried to promote it to people whom I thought would also be interested in those topics, and every so often, someone sits up and takes notice. Just keep writing your blog and reading and commenting on other blogs, and try to connect with people who write about the same things you do. Maybe it will take off, maybe it won’t, but the important thing is what you get out of it. Have a good time, and thanks for dropping by!

  4. I am interested in reading more of your previous posts about teaching, as I too, am a teacher – alternative HS and college part-time. I am subscribing and look forward to thought provoking ideas on the challenges of educating reluctant youth.

  5. I haven’t read much of your blog, but I feel like your ideas and thoughts about education are very well-formed. I know this is absolutely unethical, but can I know your age? It takes years of going through mountains and molehills to finally understand what the heck schooling and education is really meant for and how to tackle the hefty challenges they throw on us.

  6. Nice blog! I like it very much and I’ll add it in my blogroll(“Pentru voi”). I’m romanian, so I don’t think you’ll understand any of my posts, but I will read yours with pleasure(English rocks!). Because you’re a teacher, could you please tell me the easiest and most efficient way of learning? :D
    Have a sunny day!

    • Sunny: Oh, if only I could! The best response I can give you is this: practice. If you want to do something well, just do it and do it and do it, and watch others do it and learn from them. Thank you so much for your comment!

  7. Hello Siobnan!
    I came across your blog due to you being awarded the coveted spot on Freshly Pressed. Congratulations!

    I am also an educational blogger, and from what I have read on your blog so far, we seem to hold similar philosophies. I especially like when you wrote that life is constantly showing you that being a teacher and student is not that different (under About Siobhan Curious). I am a TESOL teacher trainer in South Korea, and this is an awareness and understanding I try to instill in my participants. It is a challenge to help them see this, but it is extremely enriching. I learn so much from my experiences as a trainer.

    If you are interested in reading about my experiences, please drop by my blog, http://www.throwingbacktokens.com. I’ve subscribed to your blog, and look forward to reading more of your experiences.

    From a fellow Canadian hailing from the French territories,
    Josette

    • Josette: Thank you – I look forward to checking out your blog and reading about your experiences! I taught middle school students in Japan for a couple of years, so I know how challenging it can be to teach in an unfamiliar culture. Thanks so much for leaving your thoughts on my posts.

      • It’s so refreshing to meet a teacher in the blogosphere who shares a similar background. Thank you so much for subscribing to my blog, and see you on Twitter!

  8. Hi. Wonderful work and congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. Our site is made of a group of young adult volunteers, undergraduate and graduate students reporting about and participating in entrepreneurial conservation projects at sites around the world. We are also professors, designers, photographers, and conservationists.

    One common denominator is a deep passion for community and a desire to express what is important to us with others.

    I hope you have a chance to check out some of our posts!
    http://raxacollective.wordpress.com/

  9. Just discovered your blog and am looking forward to frequently visiting and reading your interesting topics and other points related to teaching. I’ve been a retired teacher for four years now, and it’s nice to remain sort of in the swirling world of education through efforts such as your blog! I have been working on my own blog for the past year and find it an excellent way to stay in touch with that thing called the “outside world.” Keep up the good work.

  10. Haven’t read much of your stuff but definitely from what i did read, I have found certain connects… Liked “Why read literature”. I have been a student of english literature and the only delight I ever got from studying it was from the way Poetry was revealed in the classroom by a certain teacher. I have been hooked to writing since a long time and forever felt that somewhere my interest in literature got lost because of restricted book analysis and some disinterested means of teaching employed.. When you teach minds ,you have to learn and train yourself to go beyond first, before expecting the others to benefit from you.. Hard job!
    A nice blog! Keep it up..

  11. I’m “kind of” a teacher…meaning that’s what I studied and I’m just waiting (for 3 years!) to see if a District that holds ALL THE CARDS TO MY FUTURE will hire me.

    NOT.

    So I’m left to subbing. But I’m glad you were freshly pressed so that I could find your blog to follow!

      • Thank you! I’m sure it will…and as for the job search…I took a step back from education for a few years and found 2 good jobs in the interim. I have since felt the pull to come back to teaching (albeit subbing right now)…but I’m just struggling paying bills (obvi). I’m holding on as long as possible! :)

  12. Hey there,
    I’m really liking what I see here. I’d be honoured if, with you being a college English teacher, I could have your opinion as to some of my poems. My blog isn’t anything much yet, but I believe it has potential. Your feedback would be invaluable.
    Thanks for your time.

  13. Wow! Your blog has had a makeover. It looks great! I have been out of the loop–just emerged from the most difficult semester of my life. I am glad to be back and say HI again!

  14. A fellow Siobhan! I used to teach English too until I escaped and ran off to publishing. Your post on plagarism took me back. I once had a male pupil write in an essay that, as a woman, he sympathised with the character of Lady Macbeth… *sigh*.

  15. Hi, I’ve nominated you for the Sunshine Award! Your posts provide so much valuable insight into the teacher’s/professor’s side of education and, as a master’s candidate, I really appreciate the information. I sincerely hope that you stay active in the blogosphere. For details on the award, please visit my post at http://mylifeinverse.com/2014/01/15/im-walking-on-sunshine-whoa-and-dont-it-feel-good/ :) Best of luck in all of your endeavors!

  16. Hi Siobhan. I recently came across your blog and have enjoyed it. I read one of your earlier posts–“Fiction Makes You Better at Stuff” (October 19, 2013).

    I wrote a post last week that mentioned a study by Dr. Emanuele Castano (New School for Social Research) that says reading literary works makes you a kinder, more empathetic person. I did not dwell on the study but took off from there with not-too-serious thoughts:

    “Makeup Homework–Overdue by 30 Years”

    http://randomstoryteller.com/2014/01/20/makeup-homework-overdue-by-30-years/

    I ran away to pursue publishing but on occasion have wandered back into the classroom.

    Thank you for your delightful pieces.

    Best regards,
    Catherine Hamrick

  17. I had one of the most beautiful English teacher when I was in High School. She was the one that opened my eyes to the world of teaching – to show me that yes, teachers are people. They have lives beyond the classroom door, they make sacrifices for their work, and they are rarely recognised for it. They don’t show the students their sleepless nights and skipped meals to make sure they are doing the best they can for the kids. And students, being short-sighted, will take these teachers for granted. My English teacher had an unquenchable love for her students. Stressing for us more so than we were for our own final projects. She had sacrificed so much more of her time to help each kid in her class individually, giving us her timetable and constantly encouraging us to approach her during her free time, because there is ALWAYS room to improve, no matter how good you are.

    And so I truly, truly appreciate your blog. It shows the passion that you have for what you do, and it opens the eyes of other people, including students, to come to appreciate their teachers and professors more and to view them as not just another Joe-Blow trying to shove exams down their throats, but as another human being that deserves their utmost respect and efforts.
    :D

  18. I am a fellow teacher. I did seventh grade for twenty seven years. Some days were a bear and some were great. I blog about it. Some of the stories put a smile on my face when I remember them and some are nightmares I should have forgotten but like a scar I pick on them. I am retired now and work at a amusement park to see kids smile and not annoy me with their hormones.

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