My Week As a Teacher: Avoiding the Dreaded “Dead” Verb


My week as a teacher revisited and revised!

Smack! Mrs. Farmer Goes for a Train Ride

The story goes like this….

I jumped aboard the train on Monday, ready for the adventure that lied ahead. Tuesday, I dashed down the aisle, dropped into my passenger’s seat and peered anxiously out the window, meditating on the fresh teaching techniques I craved to try. Worn by Wednesday, I trudged to the dining car to seek refreshment, stunted by the abhorrent behavior of a few of my beloved miscreants. When Thursday rolled in, I promptly returned to my passenger seat, recalling my mission to grow into a teacher of excellence. By Friday, the train briskly came to a stop. I breathed deeply, amassed my belongings, and strolled off the train with smile and composure intact.


The story above is based upon my week as a classroom teacher. Currently, we are working on replacing dead verbs (am, are, is has, had, have, be, was, were, etc) with vivid, active verbs.

This task seems simple enough, but it is quite the opposite. Anyway, as an exercise, I decided to try to write one brief narrative, eliminating all dead verbs.

How can we ask our students to do something that we are unwilling to do ourselves?

The answer is….we can’t. Here is to better story telling. Cheers!


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