Paul Thomas, Medium

Paul Thomas

Medium

Greenville, SC, United States

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Recent:
  • Medium
  • NWP Digital Is
Past:
  • Paul Thomas
  • Washington Post

Recent articles by Paul:

How to Assign Writing When You Don’t Teach Writing

“I don’t teach writing; I teach religious studies. However, I also ask students to write. Sometimes that feels like a bad idea.” → Read More

Making the Transition from Writing in High School to Writing in College

I am perpetually learning to teach; and I count on my students to guide me along that path. → Read More

Being White Is a Handout. The anti-handout beliefs and rhetoric…

My 4.5 year journey as an undergraduate and the first five years teaching high school English were spent mostly in the Reagan era. While this was many decades before terminology such as “fake news”… → Read More

Looking Back: On Raising the Academic Quality of Student Writing

My first-year writing seminars are grounded in two concepts — workshop structure (multiple drafts of essays combined with conferencing over long periods of time) and portfolio assessment (a portfolio… → Read More

Confronting the Tension between Being a Student and a Writer

I worry, I think, well past the line of being too demanding in the same way being a parent can (will?) become overbearing. Good intentions and so-called tough love are not valid justifications, I… → Read More

Poem: my body is failing me (the bees returned)

What I want All I really wanted Just to live my life on high → Read More

Overstating Nothing: Why Students Often Write their Worst Sentences First (and Last)

I may have just read the worst essay I have ever read submitted by a student — since the beginning of time. And that occurs in this context: I have been teaching adolescents and young adults to write… → Read More

Equity Politics: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

This is a return to the standard failure of the democratic process in a country that is primarily committed to the free market, rugged individualism, and guns. Biden is the normal but truly awful… → Read More

Overstating Nothing: Why Students Often Write their Worst Sentences First (and Last)

I may have just read the worst essay I have ever read submitted by a student — since the beginning of time. And that occurs in this context: I have been teaching adolescents and young adults to write… → Read More

Diversity Hiring and the White Lie of “Most Qualified Candidate”

As the news has spread about my university being the latest case of white faculty claiming false diverse identities, I have seen on social media one of the negative consequences I anticipated from… → Read More

Imposter: Whitewashing “By Any Means Necessary”

I grew up among oafish racists in my white family and community. This was upstate South Carolina in the 1960s and 1970s. As a teenager, I stood in the pro shop of the golf course where I worked while… → Read More

The Perfect Trap. At the core of the perfect trap are…

At the core of the perfect trap are some fundamental problems with traditional teaching that are firming linked to grades and evaluation. → Read More

Media “Experts” + Parental Zeal + Political Knee-jerk Legislation + Market Forces = Failing Reading, Again

This is capitalism, not science; this is the free market, not education for equity and democracy. → Read More

Clothespin Bucket. My mother always washed clothes and…

I had a dream last night, the kind of dream that jumbles your past and present in ways that make sense only in the dream. The jumble in this dream was riding my recently purchased gravel bike from my… → Read More

Bully Politics, Eugenics, and the Last Days of American Pretense

If the American character included the ability to admit that the country’s founding was deeply flawed but aspirational — life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as goals we are still trying to… → Read More

You’re on Your Own (But You Don’t Have to Be)

During the recent U.S. Senate debate in South Carolina, Jaime Harrison and Lindsey Graham seemed determined to one-up each other about their overcoming hardships in their lives. Harrison, as a Black… → Read More

Bully. The expectations for the weakest among…

TV shows and movies throughout the 1970s and 1980s, if my memory serves me well, tended to fall back on a predictable and likely lazy portrayal of bullies; beneath their abusive and violent exteriors… → Read More

Patriotic Education and the Politics of Lies

You don’t have to teach people to love their country if that country deserves to be loved. → Read More

The Ends Do Not Justify the Means in the Lives and Education of Children

Advocates of the “science of reading” cross ethical lines in order to justify and misrepresent the very “science” those advocates embrace. → Read More

Poem: Too many have written

“Poem: Too many have written” is published by Paul Thomas. → Read More