Monday, July 22

Preparing for back to school
with an English Teacher

Summer is going by so quickly!  As much as I hate to admit it, we are already preparing for going back to school.  The last month of summer break always seems to fly even more quickly than the rest of the year, doesn't it?

Something you may not know about me is that I am an English teacher by training.  Now, when I say "English teacher," you probably think of someone who teaches literature.  That's what English teachers have become in recent years.  But no--I'm an old-fashioned English grammar teacher.  My degree is secondary education in English grammar.

Now I've made you cringe, haven't I?

But there's an upside to this story.  I'm a bona fide grammar nerd, and I love to share my knowledge of how to use our language.  So I've written a series of posts regarding some points of English grammar that can be particularly troublesome, including:

. . . and more!

I also wrote a post explaining why good grammar matters; you can read it here.

I've made a new Pinterest board called "Grammar Guru" to include all these posts.  You can check it out here.

And if you (or your children) have any questions about English grammar, I'd be glad to answer them!  (Really!  Answering questions about English grammar makes me happy.)

Now, tell me:  do you care about good grammar?  And what do you do to get ready to go back to school?

I'm joining Amanda at Serenity Now for Weekend Bloggy Reading!


  1. Having attended that school down the road from your home for many years, grammar was drilled in to my head. At the time, I hated it but am now very thankful.

    I love Pioneer Woman's schoolmarm posts about grammar and two other friends also post about it.

    My pastor in Orlando: (he posts randomly but did a short series in October 2012)

    Heather Holleman: She's a writing professor at Penn State.

    I'm excited about your posts!

  2. I am much older than you and a retired middle school teacher.

    As a child, I LOVED diagramming sentences. Diagramming made it so easy to see which word was the verb, adverb, adjective, etc.

    As a blogger, I edit and re-edit. It drives me nuts when I see 'dinning' room or to instead of too. I got my comeuppance though with decorating the mantel. I always thought it was mantle and checked after seeing so many use mantel. I went back to any of my posts where I used the word and changed the spelling.

    I won't take this any farther for the time being.

  3. Great idea! I am a former middle school language arts teacher myself! Are people afraid of you? Sometimes people make comments to me like they are afraid I am going to correct their speech or something, and it kind of hurts my feelings. I would never do that! At least outloud. Sometimes I can't help but do it in my mind. I have been struggling the last couple of weeks about whether I should stop into our local Subway and tell them they have avocado spelled incorrectly on the sign outside their store. Hugs!

  4. Your grammar posts are helpful and needful. I was an editor, so the errors jump out at me. It seems like people don't think grammar, punctuation, etc. is important anymore. Texting doesn't help either! Thanks for your service to the blogging community!

  5. I still remember when you first posted about its and it's. I bookmarked it. :) I think I'll bookmark this post too. I absolutely love your grammar posts! Very helpful!! :)

  6. Boy howdy am I excited about this! I could just print it out for my homeschool this year! Thanks grammar queen. Lisa~

  7. Dear Richella,
    I must tell you that I am very afraid to leave comments now :) This girl knows this is a very weak point in my life. I will be using your tools to improve my skill. You are always so gracious and kind. But I know deep inside you must be cringing. I think so many of us in the school system have suffered with the symptoms of the lost art of really knowing the proper use of grammar. I am a product of it. I want to learn and prosper in my writing. I do not want to be ashamed.
    Blessings, Roxy

  8. I have loved grammar all my life. It was so fun in school! The Bugaboo Review is on my nightstand now, and my children think that is hilarious! I cannot wait to read all your posts on the subject!

  9. I read the first couple of lines of this post in my reader and immediately thought of 'Eat,Shoots & Leaves'.Then I saw the book in the picture.:)

  10. I didn't know that about you, Richella! My mom was very strict when it came to grammar and manners. Her parents immigrated to the USA from England so she was taught to speak "the king's English" and worked hard to drill it into my head! She always said that you brand yourself as soon as you open your mouth, so make sure that what comes out is proper English!

  11. I am delighted you are bringing back this series! My Mom was very strict in regards to grammar, so this is like a trip to visit with her.

  12. Oh Richella...I love this! I am going to study up on my who and whom. I can never get that straight.

  13. Thank you for keeping the flame burning!

    I've always liked your blog, but now--as a former web content manager to whom grammar is incredibly important--I love it even more!

  14. I loved this post, Richella! I always try to use proper grammar, especially using spell-check on my posts, but it's easy to fall into a "lazy-way" of using words to make your posts sound more casual. Using little slang words like lovin', sayin', y'all or any number of other shortcuts may not be proper but sounds friendly.

    I do have a question that should make you happy. I truly cringe over the use of "take" and "bring." I hear it used incorrectly (in my opinion) almost all the time. Would you or could you please address that in an upcoming post?

  15. I am actually a teacher of high school English (which now encompasses both language and literature--or "readin' and writin'" to the old-timers)here in Winston-Salem. I have a difficult time not whipping out my red pen when I read some blogs!

  16. My daughter in law has a masters in teaching (English/Writing) and currently getting her Ph.D at UNC...I am among a family of I can relate to the grammar, I know "Kirby" must have taken out her red pen on my posts so many times!


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