Tactics and Tools

How Red Pen Logic Was Born

Author Tim Barnett Published on 09/03/2020

I was born to teach. It started with helping classmates after class, then morphed into a part-time tutoring gig, and, finally, ended in a professional teaching career. And I loved everything about the job, except one thing.

Ask any teacher what they love about the job, and there will be one glaring omission: grading. Yet, teachers spend a good deal of their time—maybe more time than lecturing—evaluating student work.

I used to hate grading. It was tedious and felt like an add-on to the job. It wasn’t what I signed up for. There was teaching, and there was grading. These were two different things, I thought. I was wrong.

As I became a more experienced teacher, I realized grading provided an essential teaching opportunity. As a result, I always had a red pen close at hand. When I wasn’t in front of my students teaching a lesson, you could find me assessing assignments, grading essays, and evaluating exams.

The red pen played a crucial role in the educational development of my students. With it, I questioned their assumptions, exposed their errors, and challenged them to think critically. You see, a good teacher doesn’t merely tell his students that they’re wrong. A good teacher shows his students why they’re wrong so that they don’t make the same mistake twice. He corrects because he cares.

Last year, I was scrolling through social media, and, frankly, I was discouraged at all the bad thinking that undergirded much of what I was reading. Then it hit me: What if someone applied the red pen to this flawed thinking? And Red Pen Logic with Mr. B was born.

In the last few months, Red Pen Logic has grown in popularity. Through our engaging and sharable educational graphics and videos, we are helping people—especially young people—assess bad thinking by using good thinking. And we have a lot of fun in the process.

Here’s your homework assignment: “Like” the Red Pen Logic FB page so you don’t miss any of our educational graphics, and “Subscribe” to the Red Pen Logic YouTube channel so you don’t miss a single training video.

Class dismissed.