About the Author

Tyler and Vasti

My name is Tyler McBride (Mr. McBride to my students) and I currently teach 7th grade literacy and social studies at Lincoln Middle School in Lincoln, Arkansas. This is my first year teaching at Lincoln, but I’m no stranger – I graduated from Lincoln High School in 2007, and I’m now teaching in the classroom where I took keyboarding as an 8th grader.

After graduating from Lincoln, I studied at the University of Arkansas, where I earned my B.A. in English and Journalism and my M.A.T in Secondary English. I then taught for three years at Greenland Middle School as a 7th and 8th grade Language Arts teacher before returning to Lincoln.

Besides being busy planning lessons and teaching, I’ve got plenty of others things on my plate as well. I’m the youth pastor at The Sanctuary United Pentecostal Church in Lincoln, and I’m actively involved in my church in other ways as well. I also work with the Arkansas Council of Teachers of English and Language Arts (ACTELA) as a board member and the Northwest Arkansas Writing Project (NWAWP) as a teacher-consultant. In my spare time, I enjoy reading and spending time with my beautiful wife, Vasti, and our dog (Molly) and two cats (Butter and Popcorn).

My desire to teach English was planted in my brain in high school, grew and germinated in college, and bloomed when I participated in the Master of Arts in Teaching program at the U of A. However, I soon found that the field of education and particularly literacy education is under attack. I started this blog as a response to the increasingly alarming attitudes about teaching pervading our society and my profession – ideas that teaching must be standardized, that students must be relentlessly tested to measure their learning, that facts are more important than literature, and that students must learn what we want them to learn and not what they want to learn. Maybe thousands of people will read this blog (which I doubt) and come to a revelation of what education really should be (which I doubt even more). My hope is that even a few educators, parents, and students who are becoming discouraged by the current discourse in education can read these words and find inspiration that there is hope yet for the beautiful thing we call public education.

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