I have over thirty years of experience teaching English at the high school level. My expertise is teaching American and British literary classics, expository writing, grammar, critical thinking, and the college essay.
My teaching style focuses on students getting the meaning out of each lesson, being totally engaged, and being able to show tremendous growth in a few months' time. I like to have specific objectives in mind for each lesson, while allowing for open-ended discussions and student-chosen enrichment activities. I avoid busy work by creating a respectful climate that promotes contemplation and expression of thought. I do not let a program dictate my teaching; rather, I bring a creative mind to every lesson and think about how interesting and important it will be for my students.
Mentor Teacher Master Teacher Teacher of the Year
BSED MA in British Literature Reading Credential Interdisciplinary English (drama, journalism, speech, reading) CLAD Community College Life Credential GATE Online Course Design and Instruction
From Theory to Practice: One Teacher’s Approach to a Multi-cultural High School English Class (all levels, including AP English Literature and Comp) Most theories arise from a cumulative evaluation and extension of previous theories, so I am not inclined toward any single theory. All theories can inform our teaching. As a content teacher in high school English courses that emphasize literature and composition, I hold with the Cognitive Academic Learning Approach and SDAIE strategies as a means of promoting the skills needed for social and academic progress in school. Furthermore, I feel that if teachers are knowledgeable, competent, and culturally sensitive, the inclusion of English Language Learners in mainstream classes can be more effective than sheltered instruction, which tends to segregate students from one another. The AVID program can support mainstream inclusion. As a member of the English department, I helped write a vertical and horizontal continuum of Language Arts skills from ninth to twelfth grade, so that students can build on language and learning abilities they have already acquired, and teachers can try to standardize some of their practices and expectations. By starting each school year off with the students’ first presentation—their personal Culture Bags—I acknowledge and value the language and cultural experiences of my students. Throughout the year, I call upon their prior knowledge of folklore and folk wisdom, literature, music, and art as we explore American, British or World Literature—always seeking to make comparisons with other cultural contributions to the body of knowledge. For example, when we read Washington Irving’s “Rip Van Winkle” we also read a Vietnamese story, which expresses the same folk wisdom about escaping reality and missing valuable historical developments. When we study the poetry of Pablo Neruda, we read it in Spanish and English translations. My students are encouraged to use the internet to find Latino and Asian websites for poetry. My Latino students love the Nuyorican Poets Café and go on to study poetry on their own. Many of our class discussions promote inquiry-based research. Projects and presentations are an important and stimulating aspect of every unit. The cognitive and metacognitive skills developed in Precis Writing assist English Language Learners in their other academic classes as well as mine. They learn to paraphrase reading material carefully, interpret scrupulously, analyze logically, and evaluate fairly. As we undertake the challenge of building writing skills, students keep writing portfolios that contains précis and essays and student reflections. Self-assessment using writing rubrics is a valuable part of this process. As a matter of course, cooperative learning configurations promote productivity and self-confidence. Socratic Pairs and Seminars, for example, help students develop communicative competence by encouraging verbal interaction and academic discourse. Project Menus offer students choices of learning experiences, assessment products, and group affiliation. Finally, the AVID philosophy combined with the GATE philosophy is appropriate for all English language learners. EL and AVID students learn to be independent and responsible learners by setting goals, applying study skills, and monitoring their own progress. Communicating clearly with the teacher builds a partnership. Teacher presentation of content material via SDAIE must be delivered in a comprehensible manner, with as many context clues and learning strategies as possible, so that the individual student can make progress and see the results of his efforts. With a fusion of CALLA, AVID, SDAIE and GATE strategies, teachers can foster a social and academic atmosphere that promotes respect, communication and learning. I will gladly provide lesson plans for Culture Bags, Precis Writing, Essay Writing, Thesis Development, Project Menus, Socratic Seminars, and Literary Units. AP materials are only a click away. Please inquire. Prices will range from $3.00 - $30.00.