GTD Teacher

I have been using the Getting Things Done methodology (faithfully and unfaithfully) for over a decade now.  It is still one of the most efficient ways I’ve found to capture and act on the complexity of my life.

There is a great DIYPlanner designed for teachers who use GTD, but it’s in half sheets.  My preferred planner is 8.5 x 11 inches, so this summer I decided to make my own version.

GTD Teacher Planner is the same basic format as the original, but formatted for regular-sized letter paper.  I also added an @Meeting List.

Hope this is helpful! Leave a comment if you download and use it.


07. June 2017 by Kendra
Categories: GTD | Leave a comment

Attitudes Toward Nonstandard Language in the Classroom

For my undergraduate senior honors thesis (nearly 20 years ago now), I did a study comparing attitudes toward nonstandard dialects between a German-speaking school in Austria and an English-speaking school in the United States. I don’t have the paper in digital form, but I was just able to convert my PowerPoint presentation into an animated gif. Click the image to start the animation.

This study was completed for my senior honors thesis at:
Andrews University
Department of English
Berrien Springs, MI 49104-0040



Teachers in American schools must often deal with students who speak a non-standard dialect of English. It is generally accepted that these students need to learn Standard English so that their opportunities for success are not limited by their language. However, many students resist learning Standard English. Many educators today advocate a bidialectal approach: that is, an approach that accepts both the student’s “at-home” dialect and Standard English as equally valid, but appropriate in different situations. This is believed to lower students’ resistance to learning the standard dialect.

German-speaking schools, such as those in Austria, must deal with a dialectal dichotomy even greater than that in America. Virtually all native speakers of German grow up speaking some sort of dialect, yet also learn High or Standard German in order to be able to communicate with those outside their region. This study compares the attitudes toward non-standard language of teachers and students in a German-speaking school to those in an American school in order to establish whether or not German-speaking schools can serve as an suitable model for bidialectal education.

The results of this study indicate that German-speaking students have a more positive attitude toward non-standard language, or dialects, than their American counterparts. It also demonstrates that German speakers are more supportive of a bidialectal theory of education and tends to suggest that German-speaking school systems may be an appropriate model for bidialectal education.

Bibliography below the cut:

Continue Reading →


26. April 2015 by Kendra
Categories: English, My Writing, Teaching | Leave a comment

New Adventures

A new school year starts tomorrow.  We’re in a new state, far away from Minnesota, and I’ll be embarking on new teaching adventures this year, too.This year, my setting is a small private K-10 school.  Most of the classrooms are small as far as class size goes, but also multi-grade.

I’ll be teaching grades 5-6 English Language Arts.  This is a subject area that’s comfortable, but an age group that I’m slightly less familiar with.  I have taught 5th and 6th grades before at the beginning of my career, and my Minnesota teaching license is for grades 5-12 — but it’s a bit outside my comfort zone.  I’ll be working primarily with Writing Workshop  (my favorite!) and also with the integrated Pathways curriculum, which is new to me.

My second class will be grades 9-10 World History.  Although I do have an endorsement for grades 7-10 Social Studies in one incarnation of my teaching license, this will be the first time I’ve taught it at the high school level.  I’m working with a great teacher at a nearby 9-12 school with which our high school curriculum is aligned, and this has been very helpful.  In addition, I’ve discovered interactive notebooks, which look like the best thing since sliced bread for teaching social studies and science!  I’ve found Mrs. Gannon’s resources invaluable in getting my own plans for interactive notebooks ready to launch.  I hope they’ll work out as well as I’m imagining they will!

What new teaching adventures does the year hold for you?


26. August 2012 by Kendra
Categories: English, History, Teaching | Leave a comment

The Personal Creed Project

At the beginning of this school year, I moved from the traditional classroom setting at my school to the dropout recovery program. At the same time, I read and was incredibly inspired by John Creger’s book The Personal Creed Project. Since I was in search of authentic, experiential literacy curriculum for dropout recovery programs (don’t hold your breath — there isn’t much — especially if you have a shoestring budget like ours), I decided to work on adapting the Personal Creed Project for my students.

I shared the resulting “Workbook” in John Creger’s Personal Creed Project group on the English Companion Ning (which is, by the way, one of the most caring, intelligent, generous, and professional groups of educators I have ever encountered).

Imagine my amazement this week when John posted his most recent update of the project and said that it draws heavily from the work I did last fall!  I am incredibly honored and humbled.  I’m thankful every day for the technology that allows teachers to collaborate across the country this way, and so grateful for the generosity of brilliant teachers like John who share their work so willingly so that all our kids can get the best education possible.


08. May 2012 by Kendra
Categories: English, Teaching, Units | Leave a comment

Media Literacy and the News Unit Plan

Here’s a unit I did a couple of years ago on Media Literacy and the News.  It’s designed to be used with the graphic novel Media Meltdown published by Orca Books and is suitable for middle school or older students who need a basic introduction to media literacy.

If you use this in your classroom, please leave me a comment.  I’d love to hear how it went!


24. October 2011 by Kendra
Categories: Teaching, Units | Leave a comment

Happy Martin Luther King Day!

“Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they can not communicate; they can not communicate because they are separated.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.


18. January 2010 by Kendra
Categories: Quotes | Leave a comment

Some Days

Some days are a rodeo:
you just
hold on…
hold on…
hold on.
Alone against the beast,
it’s all you can do.
Your teeth rattle,
bones shake.
White-knuckled, you cling,
hoping not to
faint, throw up,
make a fool of yourself.

Some days are a circus:
you snap
the whip.
The elephant kneels,
the lion holds your head
gently in his jaws.
Lights and music
illuminate your control.
You speak,
your voice
booming through chaos,
and create a show
where before was wildness.

Some days are an orchestra:
each instrument unique,
perfect in its own way,
tuned to the same pitch,
playing the melodies
of different lives
looking at you,
listening to each other.
you hear the intricate masterpiece
and thank God
you are here to witness it.

Copyright 2009 Kendra Perry – All Rights Reserved.


17. December 2009 by Kendra
Categories: My Writing, Teaching | Leave a comment

Dear Students (2009)

Dear Leaders of Minnesota and Future World Leaders,

I promise
that the only way you can fail my class is by not trying.

I promise
that I will do everything in my power to help you, personally, be ready for whatever you want to do after high school.

I promise
that I will always listen to you. Please tell me your suggestions for my class, tell me what is going on in your life, tell me whatever you want me to know. To make it possible for me to listen to everyone, I ask that you speak to me individually at an appropriate time (usually not in the middle of class) or write to me.

I promise
that I will always give you 100%.

Here’s what I ask from you:

give me 100% every day. I realize that 100% does not look the same every day. Some days you don’t feel good, didn’t get enough sleep, or have something upsetting going on in your life. On those days, please let me know what you can do and show me that you are doing it. Try to be in class as much as you can. If you just can’t, please take the time you need to feel better and come back as soon as you can.

talk to me. I want to help, and I can help best if I know what you need. If you are confused, bored, angry, tired, sick, etc, let me know quietly and calmly, and I will do my best to find a way to help.

try to trust me. I know that this takes time and that some of you don’t know me very well yet. I am not someone who wants to hurt you or control you. I want to help you be the very best you can be, and I know your best is pretty stellar. That’s why I’ll push you sometimes; I know you can do it.

try to be patient with me. I am still learning something new about the world, about language, about teaching every day.

believe in yourself as much as I believe in you.

I am so privileged to share this year with you. Together, we are going to create something completely new and amazing in this classroom.

Thank you for sharing your year with me.


Ms. Perry


16. September 2009 by Kendra
Categories: Teaching | Leave a comment

Great American Speeches, part 1

I started this unit with a lecture introducing the rhetorical situation and the rhetorical triangle.

Purdue’s Online Writing Lab has a PowerPoint presentation on the rhetorical situation that provides a great overview of the rhetorical situation. I used it but adapted my language to a speech situation.

I also used Leigh Dillard‘s handout on the rhetorical triangle and fallacies.

Students then made posters illustrating both the rhetorical situation and the rhetorical triangle. We posted these around the classroom.
I also made two graphic organizers based on this lecture that we used throughout the unit.


01. February 2009 by Kendra
Categories: English, Graphic Organizers, Great American Speeches, Lesson Plans | Leave a comment