Have you gotten behind on your blog reading? Do you wish you’d had time to read EVERY SINGLE POST here at Classroom as Microcosm this past year? Or are you a new reader who doesn’t know how to get caught up on all this teacherly goodness?
Never fear – I’ve put together a handy list to help you get up to speed. I checked out my stats meter for 2009 and compiled the posts that received the most hits in the last twelve months. I don’t know for sure that these are the best posts I’ve published this year – maybe you can tell me! – but they’re the ones that made people take notice, for better or for worse.
1. Top 10 Student Excuses for Missing Class:
This post’s popularity is due in large part to Sarah Ebner at School Gate, who came across it and generously promoted it more than once to her TimeOnline readers. It remains one of my favourite posts, because it reminds me each time I read it that my students are complex and interesting people, and that not all excuses are sneaky fictional attempts to avoid consequences!
2. 10 Reasons I Hate Grading Your Assignment:
A rising stat meter usually makes a blogger very happy: people are reading my post! Hurrah! In the case of this post, however, the rising meter eventually triggered a full-blown panic attack. A lot of people were made very angry by this rant, in which I wax furious on green printer ink, 1-and-1/2 spacing, sloppy proofreading and unauthorized email submissions. I also received some very nice comments and emails congratulating me on my uncompromising standards, but this post marks the first time, ever, in my life, that I wished people were paying a little less attention to me.
A follow-up post, in which I examine the effects of the negative feedback on my state of mind, was also high on the list of top posts.
3. Sulk and the 17-year-old Girl:
The saga of Mary, Melanie, and especially Marta begins here, and the anxiety of dealing with these difficult but interesting girls was more than offset by the pleasure I got from writing about them. Later posts on the trio that also received lots of hits are part two of “Sulk…“, my wrap-up of several of the winter semester’s top stories, and a one-act screenplay of my final meeting with the three girls.
4. Who Says You Have To Go To College?:
The question of whether college is the best path for everyone has been on the table a lot in the past year, and this probably accounts for the popularity of this post.
5. Holden Caulfield Has Left the Building:
Have teenagers really had it with Holden Caulfield? My classroom experience says yes and no.
I was surprised to see this post near the top, as it’s relatively recent, but the story of Yannick’s troubles and my refusal to baby him seems to have resonated with a lot of readers.
7. There Are Worse Things Than Dropping Out of School:
Another post that asks whether school is really for everyone.
8. If You Use This Phrase in Your Essay, You Will Fail:
Top 10 lists seem to always be a hit. In this one, I enumerate some word choices that I’d be happy never to read again.
9. What I Did On My Summer “Vacation”:
This one came out in August, just as everyone was ready to start thinking about teaching again; maybe that’s why it received a lot of visits. It’s a response to the 2009 Professional Development Meme; I had previously listed my professional development goals for the summer, and in this post I examine whether I met them.
After reading this post about how I implemented my friend Lorri’s “one minute of silence” exercise in my classroom, a lot of readers wrote to say that they were going to try it, too. I didn’t maintain this exercise throughout the semester, but I may do it again sometime and stick with it to observe the results.
And, because I do love a good, justified rant, a bonus post…
This one is worth it for the “angry kitty” photo alone.
Thank you so much for reading, commenting, and making my blogging so rewarding!
Image by Owais Khan