This page is devoted to teaching grammar in a way that you enjoy so that you can write better for school or work, feel confident, and write your way into whatever future you want. Grammar can be classist and racist, but by making grammar instruction accessible for everyone, I hope that more people can access its power.
There are two video series that teach grammar concepts and writing tips.
I have a number of bad ideas to promote grammar. The pandemic slowed down some of these ideas, but it also opened new possibilities. I’m currently working to collaborate with musicians and other artists to create a high school grammar musical, which sounds like a terrible idea, but that I think has a lot of potential.
Think about supporting me on Patreon (link below) if you think that getting more young people writing well is a good idea.
I’m an English teacher who retired after twenty years in the classroom.
When I was a high-school student, I wrote based on what seemed right. My teachers would say to me, “Read that sentence out loud. Does it sound right?” And I’d listen and fix it.
When I started teaching, though, I was teaching kids who didn’t have my background as a white male raised in the suburbs with a PhD dad and a college-degree mom. I would say to my students, “Read that sentence out loud. Does it sound right?” And they would read it and respond, “Yeah. It’s fine.” I didn’t have a way to communicate the problems.
Searching for a way to explain formal sentence structure in an objective way, I found sentence diagramming. I spent most of my career trying to find ways to make grammar fun and interesting, and I succeeded for a bunch of kids, but I failed for many more. Grammar is a hard sell in a classroom.
I retired in 2018, said goodbye to the classroom, and went back to school to learn how to make videos for YouTube. I spent three semesters taking film, acting, and music classes so that I could produce grammar content in a way that students could actually enjoy. Instead of trying to make grammar interesting, I’m trying to be interesting first, and the grammar follows. I want junior-high kids watching this channel’s content, and I want adults with PhDs, who know how to write well because they can feel it, watching this channel as well. I want this channel to be unabashedly vulgar, fun, crude, hilarious, cringy, absurd, and full of bad ideas. I want to be the Jackass of grammar instruction, the Deadpool of diagramming! I want to draw people in and show that grammar is not that hard, and not that scary. I want people to know that they can write their way into whatever future they see for themselves.
This idea idea didn’t take off until I found Tiktok. Within one week of posting my first video, I had 100,000 followers. It’s interesting to me how many more people are interested in grammar in one-minute nibbles than grammar on YouTube for a five-minute video. On Tiktok, grammar is totally nonthreatening, and people can scroll past as soon as they want. I love Tiktok, the people I’m meeting, and the connections I’m making. Here’s to the start of bigger and better things!