Dear Parents and Students,
I graduated from the University of Florida with a B.A. in Literature and then I pursued my M.A. at the University of Central Florida, again in Literature. I graduated from UCF in 2002 and started teaching at the high school level. By this time I had already been teaching at the college level for two years and I continue to do so now. I studied abroad in Ireland while working on an Irish Studies Certificate (Irish Folklore), as well as delivered several critical essays dealing with Gothic Literature, Romantic Literature, and European novels. My master’s thesis, and my specialty, revolves around Naturalism—an experimental take on literature using culture, heredity, and Realism to depict humanity in its most primal state.
Education, to me, is paramount. The recession has proven that no job or material accomplishment is ever secure, but education, once obtained, can never be taken away. This, by no means, is a radical idea; however, I am always surprised at how some students disregard education, and, inevitably, default on this opportunity. I work under the assumption that all my students will go on to further education after high school. Whether they choose to go through a 4-year university, community college, technical center, or on-the-job training, there is a skill-set akin to all of them. Timeliness, focus, accountability, and problem solving are all skills that I reinforce throughout the year.
Timeliness—be early to be able to obtain all the necessary instructions.
Focus—do not be distracted by technology or irrelevant details.
Accountability—own this opportunity and deliver on promises.
Problem Solving—seek out challenges and view them as obstacles to overcome not avoid.
This may seem a little intense, but I do lead through compassion. I know what awaits students without these skills and it would break my heart to see them ground up in the meat-grinder of mediocrity. That being said, I do not pity students. Compassion and pity are often confused. I expect students (and parents by extension) to rise to the expectation rather than lower my standards and have students achieve with a false sense of pride. Work is hard. It gets easier with practice.
Problems: As a 12th grade teacher, I approach my students as adults (most of them are anyway) and I appreciate them responding as such. This means that they take responsibility for their performance rather than their parents. While I do appreciate parent emails that reflect concern for their child, I appreciate student correspondence much more.
Cell Phones: The district has banned cell phone use during school hours for several reasons, but the most important ones are to eliminate distractions and to prevent the recording of private information of students/minors. I, personally, believe cell phones have the potential to dampen inter-personal relationships even if they seem to amplify the speed of communication. Regardless, if I see or hear a cell phone, I will take it away and give it to the dean. Parents--please understand that this district rule is in place to protect your child's privacy not hassle you in having to retrieve it from the office.
Lateness: This is my pet peeve. I view lateness (with assignments or arrival to class) as disrespectful behavior to me, the class, the perpetrator, and the opportunity to learn. Please make all the necessary accomodations to be on time.
Make-up Work: Please come see me between 7:30 and 8:30am on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, or Fridays if you have missed a class and need to make up a quiz or need extra help. There should be no expectation for help or work for students coming in after the grading period or after the grace period provided by the school district concerning absences.
Class Material: The human experience is full of anger, hate, love, passion, ennui, seduction, crime, honor, piety, and revenge. Our literature is full of these sentiments and to deny some of the more uglier facets is to misread a text. Some students may find some of the class material to be offensive or depressing or that it presents a religious view counter to their beliefs. I urge students to suspend their personal tastes so that they can study an alternative perspective without bias, but to also bring in their background as a reference. Furthermore, while I do not espouse any particular faith in class, it is important to
recognize religious leaders of the past as well as sacred texts that have been the backbone of Western society. In other words, students cannot escape the importance of Greek/Roman mythology nor can they deny the influence of the Bible and do justice to class readings. By the same token, it is important to be versed in pop-culture as long as it doesn't take the place of established culture.
1st Eng IV H
2nd AP Lit
4th AP Lit
5th Eng IV H
6th Eng IV H
7th Eng IV H
1. Be on time--must be in assigned seat when bell rings. 1st tardy is a warning. 2nd tardy is a parent contact. 3rd tardy is a referral.
2. Turn in work when it is due.
3. No passes during the first 15 or last 15 minutes of class. Must have PLANNER to leave room.
4. Bring a pass if you are arriving late.
1. Use class-appropriate language.
2. Treat others with respect.
3. Treat this opportunity with respect.
1. Read aloud when asked. Keep up with homework
2. Bring necessary materials daily.
3. Check with classmates first for missed work then come see me.
1. Did you really put forth your best effort?
2. Are you in the right class?
3. Were you really where you said you were?