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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.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Day 8 & 9: A Couple of Good Days

I missed a day yesterday (if anyone noticed). So I've got a bit of catching up to do.

On Wednesday, the students took their "I Am" poems to the media center's computer lab and turned them into Word documents that can be displayed as posters. The students did a good job of creating their poem posters. We have our open house on August 16th, so the students will be able to display their creativity to their parents.

Today, Thursday, I took a different turn with both classes. The juniors began a unit on writing a reflective essay while the seniors began a unit on Beowulf. I showed them a Power Point presentation on the heroic quest archetype to introduce them to the Anglo-Saxon epic.

The school got some good news today. The progress our high school made last year means that we are not on the state's school improvement list. We would have made "Adequate Yearly Progress" (AYP), but we fell short in only one category, graduation. We had too many of our freshman students fail to graduate in 4 years, evidently. Of course, these were the first years of our school during which we began in one building and ended up in another. We had to work in a grossly overcrowed building when we finally did move in. It was not the sort of environment conducive to retaining and nurturing students to graduation.

Now that we are in our building with one less grade level in the building, I think we have an excellent chance to succeed with our student body. We have some great students going here, and we are getting help with the Common Core Standards.

I am looking forward to the success our students are going to have.

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