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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Back in School Today

William Blake
We were back in school today after an unexpected 4 day break due to an Artic cold front which came through the state late Wednesday. We still have enough snow days that we are looking at being out for summer during the last week of May. However, we still have the rest of January, February, and even March to get through.

I am teaching my seniors some of the poems from William Blake, ones from his Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience. I am trying to get them to become aware of who is talking in the poems, or the Speaker, and the Tone of the poems. Blake's a good one for that because he adopts different personas in the poems from the two books.
Mark Twain
My Honors English 11 is getting ready to study The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. I gave them the books three weeks before Winter break, so they have had about 6 or 7 weeks to do the reading. I am under no illusions that they have done so.

My regular English 11 has had the novel also. They are even less likely to have done the reading. I am not sure what to do with them except to have them read certain passages and get through the book best they can. Today we went over words they are likely to see on the "End of Instruction" (EOI) test. I had to use my loud voice to get through to them. This is the biggest problem I have, getting them to be quiet and listen to me long enough to get any sort of learning done.

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