Higher Education

9 Ways to Keep the Classics Fresh in High School English


The classics have been a staple in high school English classrooms for decades. While these enduring texts are rich in literary value, teaching them can sometimes become monotonous for both students and teachers. Here are nine ways to keep the classics fresh in high school English and ensure that students remain engaged with the material.

1. Connect the Classics with Current Issues

One way to keep the classics fresh is to establish connections between the themes of these works and contemporary issues. By drawing parallels to current events, societal concerns, or even pop culture, students can better understand the relevance of these enduring texts in their lives.

2. Employ Multimedia Adaptations

Multimedia adaptations of classic texts can provide a fresh perspective on familiar stories. Incorporate film adaptations, graphic novels, or audio dramas into your curriculum to breathe new life into these timeless tales.

3. Collaborative Learning

Encourage collaborative learning by having students work together on group projects. This can involve rewriting a scene from a classic text using modern language or engaging students in role-playing activities to better understand characters’ motivations and decisions.

4. Encourage Creative Expression

Have students explore their creative side by writing an alternate ending to a beloved classic or developing their own prequel or sequel. This allows them to think critically about the original while also flexing their creative muscles.

5. Teach Comparatively

Instead of studying one classic text at a time, consider teaching two or more works simultaneously and encourage comparative analysis. This approach challenges students’ critical thinking skills and deepens their understanding of each text’s themes and motifs.

6. Utilize Technology

Incorporate technology into your lessons through online discussion boards, interactive quizzes, or digital storytelling tools that allow students to create dynamic content related to the classics they’re studying.

7. Bring in Guest Speakers

Invite guest speakers such as local authors, professors, or literary scholars to provide their unique perspectives on the classics. Their insights can help reinvigorate discussions and inspire students to view these texts through a new lens.

8. Foster Real-Life Connections

Encourage students to form connections between the classics and their own lives. This can be done through journaling, personal reflections on specific themes, or by assigning creative projects that allow students to explore how these works relate to their experiences.

9. Transform the Classroom

Make the classroom experience immersive by using decorations, costumes, or props that transport students into the world of the classic text being studied. This can help awaken their imaginations and make learning about the classics feel like a thrilling adventure.


By incorporating these techniques into your high school English curriculum, you can keep the classics fresh and engaging for your students. In doing so, you’ll not only deepen their understanding of these venerable works but also inspire a lifelong love for literature.

What It’s Really Like to Teach High School In Person and Online at the Same Time

The recent global pandemic has necessitated a significant shift in the way education is delivered to students. High school teachers are navigating uncharted territory, as they juggle teaching students in person and online simultaneously. This unique situation presents various complexities and challenges that educators must grapple with daily.

Creating Inclusive Lesson Plans

Teachers are now tasked with creating lesson plans that engage both in-person and online students effectively. Achieving equal levels of interaction remains a challenge, as teachers must cater to different learning styles while maintaining structure and balance. Emphasis on accessibility and digital resources helps bridge the gap between in-person and virtual students.

Technology: A Double-Edged Sword

While technology has provided numerous tools for remote learning, it often creates obstacles for both teachers and students during class. Teachers face technological hiccups such as connection issues, software glitches, and hardware malfunctions during classes. At the same time, keeping virtual students engaged remains a challenge amidst constant distractions at home.

Balancing Workload and Mental Health

With the increased workload that comes with managing in-person and online classes simultaneously, teacher burnout has become a rising concern. Maintaining the quality of education and ensuring all students are receiving adequate attention adds stress to an already demanding profession. Teachers must find ways to care for their mental health amid this overwhelming situation.

Connecting with Students

The human connection is essential to fostering a positive learning environment. However, bonding with online students is much harder than their in-person counterparts. Teachers must utilize different strategies to connect with virtual learners – frequent check-ins, one-on-ones, or email updates – these attempts help establish rapport despite being miles apart.

Navigating Uncertainty

There’s no denying that teaching high school both in person and online simultaneously is fraught with uncertainty. Adaptability lies at the core of success during these times, as teachers learn from previous experiences and incorporate innovative ideas in their lessons to ensure maximum student engagement and learning.

In Conclusion

The dual challenge of teaching in-person and online demands remarkable resilience from educators. Teachers must develop unique strategies to balance the needs of both sets of students while maintaining their mental health. As they continue to navigate this uncharted territory, their dedication and adaptability are vital for the success of education in these unprecedented times.

Help! My Students’ Brutal Course Evaluations Make Me Want to Quit


As an educator, receiving negative course evaluations from students can be particularly disheartening and demoralizing. Knowing that your teaching style or methods are not meeting the needs of your students can make you question if you’re even in the right profession. In this article, we will discuss how to cope with brutal course evaluations and determine whether it’s time to reconsider your career path.

1. Reflect on the Feedback

The first step in dealing with negative course evaluations is to reflect on the feedback provided by your students. While it may be difficult to accept criticism, try to consider their comments constructively rather than defensively. Identify areas where you can improve and develop strategies for addressing these issues. This may involve seeking professional development opportunities, updating your teaching materials, or reconsidering your approach to classroom engagement.

2. Seek Support

Dealing with harsh criticism can be emotionally challenging, so don’t hesitate to seek support from colleagues, friends, or family members. Sharing your experience and getting different perspectives on the situation can help you gain a better understanding of what may have led to these negative evaluations.

3. Take Appropriate Action

Once you have processed the feedback and identified areas for improvement, take appropriate action to address the concerns raised by your students. Implement changes in your teaching methods or course content and create an environment that facilitates active learning and student engagement.

4. Be Open with Your Students

Being transparent about the changes you are making as a result of their feedback is essential for building trust with students and creating an open line of communication. Share your goals for improvement and invite them to share their thoughts on progress throughout the semester.

5. Keep Perspective

It’s important to remember that not all student evaluations are completely accurate or fair assessments of your teaching journey. Teaching can be a complex process influenced by various factors beyond your control such as class size, student backgrounds, and even the time of day the class is held. While it is crucial to take student feedback seriously, don’t let negative evaluations discourage or define you as an educator.

6. Consider Alternative Career Paths

If, after implementation of feedback and self-reflection, you still feel disillusioned or unmotivated in your teaching role, it might be time to consider alternative career paths. Keep in mind that a career change doesn’t necessarily signify failure but can represent growth and the pursuit of new opportunities that align with your values and strengths.


Receiving brutal course evaluations can be a challenging experience for any educator. However, by reflecting on feedback, seeking support, taking appropriate action, and being open with your students, you can turn this experience into an opportunity for growth and improvement. If despite these efforts you still find your passion for teaching waning, exploring alternative career paths may lead you towards new opportunities that better align with your professional goals.

Pairing Fiction and Nonfiction in the High School Classroom: A Powerful Approach to Enhance Learning

In today’s diverse and ever-evolving educational landscape, it is vital for teachers to explore creative and effective instructional approaches that engage students in meaningful learning experiences. One such approach is pairing fiction and nonfiction texts in the high school classroom—an innovative strategy that can lead to significant gains in critical thinking, comprehension, and motivation for students. This article explores the benefits of this approach and offers some practical suggestions for successful implementation.

The Benefits of Pairing Fiction and Nonfiction

1. Promotes Critical Thinking: One of the most immediate benefits of pairing fiction with nonfiction texts is the opportunity to foster critical thinking among students. Fictional works often deal with themes and ideas that can be further explored through related nonfiction materials, encouraging students to analyze, evaluate, and synthesize information from multiple sources.

2. Enhances Reading Comprehension: Teachers who pair fiction and nonfiction texts ask students to identify similarities and differences between the two works, thus honing their abilities to compare and contrast different types of content. This practice not only supports reading comprehension but also helps students become more discerning readers who can navigate various forms of written material.

3. Encourages Cross-Curricular Connections: Combining fiction with nonfiction allows educators to create interdisciplinary lessons that integrate various subject areas such as history, science, or social studies into a single activity. In doing so, teachers enable students to see connections between different domains of knowledge— a skill that is crucial for success in higher education and the workplace.

4. Increases Student Engagement: Students are more likely to be engaged when exploring topics they find personally relevant, interesting or enjoyable. By selecting paired texts on subjects that appeal to their interests and align with their curriculum goals, teachers can maintain student motivation while also strengthening cognitive skills.

Implementing Pairing Fiction and Nonfiction in the Classroom

1. Select Texts with Parallel Themes: Begin by identifying fiction and nonfiction texts that share similar themes or topic areas. For example, a novel dealing with racial injustice, such as “To Kill a Mockingbird,” could be paired with historical accounts of civil rights movement events or biographies of key figures involved in the struggle.

2. Scaffold Instruction: When introducing paired texts, consider starting with the fictional work to build students’ interest and curiosity about the topic. Follow up with related nonfiction materials that provide factual and contextual information to deepen understanding.

3. Encourage Analysis: Provide students with guiding questions or activities that prompt them to compare and contrast the themes, content, or style of the two texts. Encourage discussions in small groups or as a whole class to share insights and perspectives on the material.

4. Assess Learning Outcomes: Use assessments that require students to demonstrate their understanding of both texts and their capacity to draw connections between them. This can take the form of essays, presentations, debates or other creative assignments that promote higher-order thinking.

In conclusion, pairing fiction and nonfiction texts in the high school classroom proves to be an effective way to foster critical thinking skills, enhance reading comprehension, encourage cross-curricular connections, and increase student engagement. By thoughtfully selecting materials and scaffolding instruction such a strategy can have profound benefits on overall student achievement and enjoyment of learning.

6 Things to Know About Underrepresented Students Headed to College

1. Diversity brings benefits: Greater diversity within a college campus not only enriches the educational experience but also fosters critical thinking and innovation among students. Underrepresented students, coming from various cultural, economic, and geographic backgrounds, contribute to this diversity and aid in the holistic growth of all students.

2. Financial support is essential: Many underrepresented students face financial challenges, which affects their higher education decisions. Encouraging need-based financial aid programs, scholarships, grants, and work-study opportunities can help ease this burden and provide more equitable access to higher education.

3. Support networks make a difference: Underrepresented students often find it difficult to navigate the academic and social aspects of college life. Colleges should establish support systems such as mentorship programs, academic resources, and clubs specifically designed for underrepresented students to help them overcome obstacles and feel a sense of community.

4. Students need cultural competency: Understanding cultural differences is vital for underrepresented students’ success in college. Institutions must promote cultural competency through inclusive curricula, workshops, and trainings for both students and faculty members to ensure an inclusive learning environment.

5. Adapting to academic expectations: The transition from high school to college can be challenging for any student, but particularly so for those from underprivileged backgrounds. Institutions should have robust academic support structures in place to help underrepresented students cope with the new environment while overcoming any learning gaps they might have had.

6. Pursuing leadership opportunities: In order to build a more diverse leadership workforce, underrepresented students should be encouraged to pursue leadership roles on campus as well as attend conferences and workshops that hone their leadership skills. This will not only help them succeed in their career path but will also inspire future generations of diverse leaders.

How to Make Your College Application Stand Out

Applying for college is an exciting and nerve-wracking experience, with numerous factors contributing to the acceptance or rejection of your application. The key to success lies in making your college application stand out from the rest. In this article, we will discuss some tips and strategies to help you achieve just that.

1. Craft a Compelling Personal Statement

The personal statement is your chance to showcase your personality, experiences, and aspirations. It gives the admissions board a glimpse into who you are beyond your grades and test scores. Make sure to write a well-structured essay that paints a vivid picture of your journey and what led you to choose your desired course of study.

2. Highlight Your Extracurricular Activities

A diverse range of extracurricular activities demonstrates that you are an engaged individual, eager to learn and grow beyond the classroom setting. Mention any clubs, sports teams, or volunteer opportunities you have participated in throughout high school that have allowed you to develop valuable skills and make an impact on your community.

3. Showcase Academic Excellence

While it’s essential not to solely rely on grades, they do hold significance when applying for colleges. To stand out among applicants with similar academic records, consider taking Advanced Placement (AP) courses or attending summer programs related to your field of interest. This will further demonstrate your passion for learning and commitment to academic success.

4. Obtain Strong Letters of Recommendation

Select teachers or mentors who know you well enough to provide genuine insight into your character, aspirations, and achievements. A well-crafted letter of recommendation can boost the impact of your application by adding credibility to the claims made in your personal statement and resume.

5. Emphasize Leadership Skills

Colleges are looking for individuals who can lead their peers while navigating new challenges. Don’t hesitate to include instances where you held leadership positions or demonstrated resilience in overcoming adversity.

6. Prepare a Standout Resume

A well-organized resume is an excellent tool for presenting your achievements and experiences in a clear, concise manner. Make sure to proofread your resume and ask your peers or mentors to review it for feedback.

7. Apply Early Decision or Early Action

Applying either Early Decision (binding) or Early Action (non-binding) can significantly increase the likelihood of acceptance, as it demonstrates a strong interest in the institution and commitment to attend if admitted.

8. Conduct Thorough Research on Your Prospective Colleges

Understanding what each college you apply to looks for in their applicants will allow you to tailor your application accordingly. Spend time researching the institution’s culture, values, and expectations to make your application better resonate with the admissions board.

9. Interview Preparation

Some colleges offer optional interviews as part of the application process. This is another opportunity to make an impression on the admissions officers and provide additional insight into who you are. Prepare by practicing with friends or family members, and don’t forget to showcase your enthusiasm for the college.

10. Show Your Authentic Self

Throughout your application, stay true to who you are. Avoid exaggerating your accomplishments or constructing an image that doesn’t represent your genuine self. Admissions officers are skilled in identifying authentic candidates, and faking it will likely hurt rather than help your chances.

In conclusion, making your college application stand out comes down to showcasing your unique attributes, experiences, and passions with honesty and enthusiasm. By following these tips, you’ll give yourself the best possible shot at securing a place in the college of your dreams!

Do We Put Too Much Emphasis on AP Classes


Advanced Placement (AP) classes are considered by many as the gold standard in education, offering high-achieving students a chance to explore subjects in greater depth and earn college credit. However, there is growing concern that our society may place too much emphasis on AP classes. This article will examine the excessive focus on AP courses and the potential implications for students, teachers, and our education system.

Benefits of AP Classes:

There is no denying that AP classes offer significant benefits for students. They provide in-depth knowledge and challenge participants academically, preparing them for college-level work. Since AP courses can earn students college credit, they also have the potential to save money and time in higher education. Furthermore, many colleges and universities consider a candidate’s AP experience when evaluating their applications, making these courses an essential asset for a competitive edge.

Excessive Emphasis on AP Classes:

Despite these advantages, the rise of an achievement-oriented culture has led to an overemphasis on AP classes. Students are increasingly encouraged— or pressured—to enroll in as many AP courses as possible. This comes from the belief that more AP classes equate to greater success in college acceptance and future careers. Consequently, students may feel compelled to stretch themselves thin between several challenging courses, potentially resulting in excessive stress and emotional strain.

Implications on Students:

This undue pressure on taking numerous AP courses can negatively impact students’ mental health and overall learning experience. Overburdened by demanding workloads, many experience burnout or resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as sleep deprivation or reliance on performance-enhancing substances.

Students who prioritize their GPA or tackling multiple APs above developing genuine interests or exploring talents may be missing out on well-rounded personal growth. As a result, they may enter college or their chosen career without adequate exposure to various fields of study or life experiences crucial for long-term success.

Impact on Teachers and Educational System:

When schools emphasize AP classes, it can often affect the relationship between teachers and students. Educators may feel pressure to teach with a rigid focus on the course content required for passing the standardized test, rather than promoting critical thinking and engaging discussions.

Additionally, budget allocation tends to favor AP courses due to their elevated status, potentially leading to underfunding of regular classes or alternative learning programs that nurture other essential skills.

Striking a Balance:

While it’s crucial not to undermine the value of AP courses, it’s equally important to acknowledge that they should not be the sole determinant of success in education. Students should consider taking AP courses that genuinely interest them or complement their academic goals, rather than simply trying to amass as many as possible.

Schools and educators must create an environment where students feel empowered to pursue diverse learning experiences without excessive pressure or expectations. As a society, we need to reevaluate our priorities in education and recognize that a well-rounded individual is more than just the sum of their AP classes. Lasting success does not come from a list of achievements on paper but from nurtured intellect, passion, resilience, and diverse skill sets.

What are the Biggest Higher Education Trends for 2024?

The biggest higher education trends for 2024 are predominantly shaped by technological advancements and the changing demands of the workforce. As the world becomes increasingly digital, educational institutions are adapting to provide students with the skills necessary to thrive in a tech-centric environment.

1. **Hybrid Learning Environments**: Hybrid models that combine online and in-person instruction are becoming the standard. These flexible environments cater to different learning styles and allow students to balance their studies with personal responsibilities.

2. **Technology-Enhanced Teaching**: Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), and Augmented Reality (AR) are being integrated into curricula to create immersive learning experiences, making education more interactive and accessible.

3. **Focus on Soft Skills**: There is an increased emphasis on teaching soft skills such as critical thinking, creativity, and communication, which are essential for success in an automated world.

4. **Customized Learning Paths**: Educational programs are becoming more personalized, using data analytics to tailor coursework to individual student needs and aspirations, promoting better engagement and outcomes.

5. **Rise of Micro-Credentials**: Short-term, focused programs that offer micro-credentials or badges for specific skills are gaining popularity among students looking to quickly adapt to changing career requirements.

6. **Lifelong Learning**: The notion of education as a lifelong endeavor is taking hold, with more options available for continuing education and professional development at every stage of a person’s career.

7. **Global Collaboration**: There’s an increasing trend towards global collaboration in higher education, with universities partnering across borders to offer joint programs and research opportunities.

These trends indicate a shift towards a more personalized, tech-driven, and practical approach to higher education designed to prepare students for the future job market.

10 Countries With the Best Education Systems in the World

Education is a primary pillar in fostering national development and success in the global arena. The countries which top the charts for the best education systems often share characteristics such as well-trained teachers, adequate resources, and a curriculum aligned with contemporary societal needs. Here are ten countries recognized for having the strongest education systems in the world:

1. **Finland**: Known for its unique and innovative approach to education, Finland boasts small class sizes, high-quality teacher education, and a focus on collaborative rather than competitive learning.

2. **South Korea**: With a rigorous study culture and highly respect for education, South Korean students score exceedingly well on international assessment tests.

3. **Japan**: Japan’s commitment to educational R&D and its structured school system ensures high levels of literacy and excellent academic performance.

4. **Denmark**: Denmark emphasizes creativity and analytical thinking within its curriculum. It provides a supportive environment with a well-funded education system.

5. **Singapore**: Consistently high achievers in math and science, Singapore’s students benefit from a strong emphasis on meritocracy and hard work in their educational model.

6. **United Kingdom**: The UK is home to some of the world’s most prestigious universities and maintains rigorous standards for its broad-based curriculum across all levels of education.

7. **Canada**: Recognized for its multicultural approach to education, Canada has an inclusive school system that accommodates students from various backgrounds while maintaining high standards of teaching.

8. **Switzerland**: With an exceptional vocational training system and heavy investment in education research, Switzerland continues to produce a workforce ready to face current global economic challenges.

9. **Netherlands**: The Dutch educational system is characterized by flexibility and diversity, offering a wide range of options tailored to students’ specific interests.

10. **Australia**: Australia provides excellent early childhood programs and primary schools, leading to well-rounded educational outcomes that prepare students to succeed at the university level and beyond.

These countries have been identified as outstanding examples due to various metrics such as PISA scores, literacy rates, graduation rates, and international student performance indices. They set benchmarks for what comprehensive education systems can achieve when invested in effectively.

Should Colleges Be Fined For Their Students Crippling Debt?

In recent years, the issue of crippling student debt has taken center stage in public discourse, sparking a contentious debate over who should bear the responsibility. As graduates struggle under the weight of financial obligations, some policy advocates argue that colleges should be fined for their role in contributing to this crisis; that these institutions should be held financially accountable for the outcomes of their graduates. But would fining colleges truly address the underlying issues, or could this approach lead to unintended consequences that further complicate higher education?

Proponents of fines believe that such penalties would incentivize colleges to ensure more favorable outcomes for their students. If institutions faced financial repercussions linked to the success rates and loan repayment abilities of their alumni, these schools might prioritize affordable tuition and higher quality education that leads to gainful employment post-graduation. By directly tying institutional accountability to student success, fines could force colleges to reassess their pricing structures and curricula.

Critics, however, contend that imposing fines on educational institutions is akin to penalizing them for factors often beyond their control. The argument follows that colleges cannot guarantee job market shifts or individual career decisions made by graduates; thus, tying fines to student debt levels could punish colleges unjustly. Moreover, this proposal could have adverse effects on educational access and equity. Small or less wealthy universities may end up passing these costs onto students or cutting back on services vital for student support.

Another perspective suggests that focusing solely on college accountability oversimplifies a complex problem that involves federal loan policies, state funding of public universities, and societal values regarding education and work. To effectively address student debt, reforms may also need to focus on these broader systemic issues.

In conclusion, while fining colleges for their students’ crippling debt signifies a bold move towards educational reform, it remains a hotly debated proposition requiring careful consideration. Stakeholders must weigh its potential effectiveness against the risk of negative impacts on educational institutions and consider whether such a policy addresses just one symptom of a multifaceted issue. Whatever path is chosen going forward, it is clear that society must find innovative ways to relieve the burden of student debt and promote economic prosperity for future generations.