Author Archives: Mark E.P. Roberts

About Mark E.P. Roberts

teachermandc is Mark E.P. Roberts, a middle-aged, high school English teacher entering his ninth year of instructing young minds. This blog is an attempt to capture the challenge of teaching and the essence of learning. At a time when DC has become the epicenter of educational theory, this blog will keep its preferred focus on students in an somewhat typical DC high school. I have taught in both public and private schools. To date, 95% of my students are of color. All names have been changed, and complaints about in-house politics will be avoided. Hope you enjoy.

The Best Things In Life

The last month or so has been difficult.  Death is such a final visit.  You think about the things you wanted to say, the things you wanted to do.  But there is something more at work than regret.  There is … Continue reading

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Joyful Wings: In Memory of Rodenard Warren Davis

Yesterday, we buried my oldest brother.  I wrote and delivered his eulogy, and I wanted to share it with you.  For the last few weeks, students have been so protective and loving.  They helped me manage my emotions during his … Continue reading

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A Clean Slate

  Today is the last day of winter break. I have missed the faces of my students and look forward to reconnecting tomorrow.  There are still two weeks left in the semester, and I do not relish the inevitable inquiries … Continue reading

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Running the Race….and Then Some

  I just got back to DC from New York.  My wife and I drove to the Big Apple on Saturday.  I had not been there in quite a while.  It is always strange returning to a place you once … Continue reading

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“John Harvard Walks the Yard” — Reflection on my “Black Experience” at Harvard

“A spirit moves, John Harvard walks the yard, The books stand open and the gates unbarred.” In 1986, Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney penned his poem “Villanelle for an Anniversary” in honor of Harvard’s 375th anniversary.  Yesterday, a distinguished woman associated … Continue reading

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Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child (revisited)

On April 11, 2011, I wrote a blog post about “whoopings” and the ridiculous notion that beating a child leaves a positive mark.  In light of Adrian Peterson’s rationalizations that beatings from his parents made him the father he is … Continue reading

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Public Speaking and Life After Death

I have one class of mostly seniors this semester.  Of the eighteen students in Public Speaking, all but three will be graduating in the spring.  I taught about one-third two years ago in tenth grade English, but most are new … Continue reading

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Play Ball!

School begins tomorrow with the 8:05 a.m. bell, ten minutes earlier than the year before.  This time, I have no first period class, and I am thrilled.  Last year, five of the seven students who failed my class did so … Continue reading

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I Missed You Too

I took a long break from blogging to work on a book I am writing about teaching.  The last school year ended on a high note.  I even got a chance to speak during the graduation ceremonies.  I stayed away … Continue reading

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Good Friday

I thought I’d share with you a poem I wrote a long time ago. Good Friday Lord, They say today Your Son was killed To save the world from sin, But just next door in 804 They’re fighting over gin. … Continue reading

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