A Classroom Vision

"The stars are God's dreams, thoughts remembered in the silence of the night."
- Henry David Thoreau -

Professional Mission Statement:

A curiosity about the mysteries of life and the daily search for understanding animate my mission as a high school teacher of English. I endeavor to prompt, to prod, and to promote personal growth in my students as we strive to create a learning environment that cultivates mutual respect, compassionate awareness and social responsibility. Equipped with developing skills in critical thinking, self-reflection and effective communication we learn together and teach each other how to become positive and creative citizens of the planet.  - Mr. Wells

The Day-to-Day Reality:

For students, the school year schedule can be demanding: homework, out-of-class interests, parental expectations, and personal challenges will require your time and attention, and you will find yourselves distracted and disinterested at times.  To be the best student you can, you must –

  • make sensible decisions.

  • manage your responsibilities.

  • organize your time.

  • set goals.

  • evaluate your progress.

  • be aware of your achievements (1).

As your teacher I will be trying to learn the names and lives of over 85 unique students and keep up with prompt feedback on your work. At the same time I will be striving to be a good father of two wonderful children (twelve and thirteen years old), a supportive husband of my amazing wife and a concerned son of one elderly parent.  Yes, like you, a teacher does have a life outside of school!

THE VISION + THE REALITY = A PERSISTENT AND PATIENT PROCESS OF GROWTH

BREATHE DEEPLY!

(1) Neuman, Robert, Phd. Are You Really Ready for College? The Hole in Your Head, Inc. 2009. <  www.areyoureallyreadyforcollege.com >

Why Study Literature? Why Practice the Art of Writing?
(i.e. Why the Humanities?) 

Consider the following quotation:

"The humanities would be expendable only

if human beings didn't have to make decisions

that affect their lives and the lives of others;

if the human past never existed

or had nothing to tell us about the present;

if thought processes were irrelevant

to the achievement of purpose;

if creativity was beyond the human mind

and had nothing to do with the job of living;

if human beings never had to cope with panic or pain,

or if they never had to anticipate

the connection between cause and effect;

if all the mysteries of mind and nature

were fully plumbed..."

- Norman Cousins -

 Classroom Expectations and Policies

"The stars are mansions built by Nature's hand, /
And, haply, there the spirits of the blest Dwell, /
clothed in radiance, their immortal vest;"

-William Wordsworth-

THREE WAYS TO CREATE A POSITIVE CLASSROOM LEARNING ENVIRONMENT:

1. Treat others the way that you would like others to treat you.

2. Take personal responsibility for your learning.

3. Practice respect, honesty, tolerance and punctuality.

Let's work together to make this class a challenging and enjoyable experience!

GRADING SCALE:

A = 93 - 100
A- = 90 - 92
B+ = 87 - 89
B = 83 - 86
B- = 80 - 82
C+ = 77 - 79
C = 73 - 76
C- = 70 - 72
D+ = 67 - 69
D = 63 - 66
D- = 60 - 62
F= 59 - 0

I will use a total point system as part of the assessment process, translating the points to the letter grade at the end of the grading period. You can determine your grade at any time by multiplying the total points possible by the numbers listed above. Each trimester is worth approx. 80% and the Final Exam will be no more than 20% of the final grade.

Your grade will be based on some or all of the following:

class participation, compositions,daily assignments, exams, self-guided reading, peer evaluations, projects, quizzes, speeches.

 

Late Assignments: A 10% deduction (each day) for assignments turned in after the due date (no deduction for late work due to illness and other legitimate reasons). BE PROMPT WITH YOUR WORK.

Plagiarism and Cheating:

Plagiarism and cheating are unacceptable and will result in a zero for the given assignment, written work, test, or quiz.

COURSE WORK

Welcome to Room 511!

In our little corner of the universe we will be exploring the wonders of the English language, developing the skills of good communication, and examining the questions of life with the assistance of some great authors. Whether you are in AP Language and Composition, American Studies or Honors English Nine I hope our time together will expand the horizons of our minds, increase our love for learning and offer us some new insights about ourselves, others and the world...

ABSENCES:

1.It is the student's responsibility to obtain handouts (in class and online), to complete class notes, worksheets, and assigned work, and to hand them in when they are due.

2.All inquiries about work and materials missed during an excused absence should occur prior to the next class, (before or after school in room 511), not during class.

3.The completion of work missed due to an excused absence should be in accordance with school policy. Any assignment due on the day of an excused absence must be turned in at the start of class on the day of return.

Be certain that home computers and printers are in excellent working condition.

TARDIES, HALL PASSES, AND OTHER CLASSROOM POLICIES:

1. Guidelines in the Student Handbook for tardies will be observed.

2. Use of the hall pass for legitimate reasons is a privilege not a right (special health needs excepted).

3. The eating of healthy snacks and the drinking of bottled water will be allowed in this classroom!

4. Smart phone usage for academic purposes will be encouraged in Room 511. School policies regarding improper use of personal devices will be inforced. Give your texting thumbs a break!

 

Required Materials: AP Language and Composition

Every day you will be required to bring the following items unless otherwise notified by the teacher. DO NOT EXPECT A PASS FROM CLASS TO RETRIEVE ITEMS LEFT IN YOUR LOCKER!

Literature Textbooks (classroom sets available) and novels

1. Binder (with pockets) & loose-leaf theme paper

2. School google docs account

3. a reader's // writer's notebook

4. assignment notebook (optional)

5. #2 pencils; black or blue colored pens

JOURNALS (Reader's // Writer's Notebook):

Your interactive reading notes should be written in your writer's notebook. These journals will be collected periodically. Your journal entries will not be graded according to spelling, punctuation or grammar, only the neatness of the writing (I need to be able to read it) and the length of each entry.

You will not be required to read your personal journals aloud in class or to share them with your classmates, but you may be asked to read an entry to the class, especially when the content relates to your interactive reading. I hope you will enjoy this writing time.

COMPOSITIONS:

Make every writing assignment your best effort. Your compositions are the primary focus of this course.

READINGS:

Students are expected to be honest in doing homework and assignments. Read the works assigned rather than Spark Notes or other similar publications. Remember, avoid palagiarism and any form of cheating.

Required Materials: American Studies & Comparative Mythology

Every day you will be required to bring the following items unless otherwise notified by the teacher. DO NOT EXPECT A PASS FROM CLASS TO RETRIEVE ITEMS LEFT IN YOUR LOCKER!

Literature Textbook (classroom sets available) and novels

1. Binder (with pockets) (with pockets) & loose-leaf theme paper

2. School google docs account

3. a reader's // writer's notebook

4. assignment notebook (optional)

5. #2 pencils; black or blue colored pens

JOURNALS (Reader's // Writer's Notebook):

Your interactive reading notes should be written in your writer's notebook. These journals will be collected periodically. Your journal entries will not be graded according to spelling, punctuation or grammar, only the neatness of the writing (I need to be able to read it) and the length of each entry.

You will not be required to read your personal journals aloud in class or to share them with your classmates, but you may be asked to read an entry to the class, especially when the content relates to your interactive reading. I hope you will enjoy this writing time.

COMPOSITIONS:

Make every writing assignment your best effort. Your compositions are the primary focus of this course.

READINGS:

Students are expected to be honest in doing homework and assignments. Read the works assigned rather than Spark Notes or other similar publications. Remember, avoid palagiarism and any form of cheating.

 

 

"Never feel dumb. Not knowing who or what is ignorance, which is no sin; ignorance is simply the measure of what you haven't got to yet.... Education is mostly about institutions and getting tickets stamped; learning is what we do for ourselves. When we are lucky, they go together. If I had to choose, I'd take learning."

Thomas C. Foster

(Professor of English at the University of Michigan)


"Every flower is a soul blossoming in Nature."
-Gerard de Nerval -

home page

contact me