Englishisms (Kirstie Truluck)

Kirstie Truluck, a veteran Hyde teacher, recently completed her Masters at U. So Maine with a focus on Literacy and Learning. Her studies were inspired by the approach she has long taken as a teacher. I’ve asked Kirstie to share some of her findings about learning and teaching and am delighted by her excitement to do so. Her contributions kick off with something she calls “Englishisms.”

English-isms for Life Beyond English

1. Whenever possible, categorize information, ideas or actions in groups of 1, 3 or 5. It helps create form and discipline. When in a pinch, 9 categories are also acceptable. There are nine supreme courts justices, five Hyde Words and Principles, three little pigs, and one authentic self.

2. Always read with a pen / pencil in your hand so that your body can write all the brilliant little thoughts that your conscience whispers. You are but a conduit. The only exceptions to this principle: when reading romance, sci-fi or mystery novels for pleasure while on the beach. In the end, great literature is great if it helps us see the universal truths in our world and in ourselves.

3. Discover your writing process. Find the prewriting, drafting, revision and editing techniques that work best for you. Allow others to read your work and you. Allow others to help you see the weaknesses and strengths of your writing and your character. If you do it all out loud, then others can see and learn from your lessons.

4. “To be” verbs are like white bread. When overused or overeaten, each will weaken your writing or your body. Feed your mind active verbs and your body whole grains.

5. “Being yourself. Telling the truth. Taking a closer look. Those are the things a writer cannot live without” (Spandel, 125*). So, “Bet on the truth; still in doubt, bet on more truth” (Hyde School).

Best Wishes, Kirstie Truluck

* Spandel, Vicki; The 9 Rights of Every Writer. Heinemann Books.