It’s hard to believe that we are already approaching Christmas break. Another school year is almost half done. It’s at times like this that I like to reflect back on all of my years here (26 and counting). I’ve seen so much positive change in our school and in this community. The school building has more than doubled its original size since I began my career here in 1994. I am now teaching the children of many of the students that graduated in my first few years of teaching. What a phenomenon that is. Students will often give me an odd look when I tell them, “I taught your mom or dad,” but they will rarely try to pull too much nonsense though. I just could not be more thankful for the opportunity to get to know all of the wonderful people over the years. I’ve learned so much that I often wonder if I am the teacher or student. I guess it’s both.
Now, enough of the “mushy” stuff, let’s get down to business. What’s been going on in room 207 this past month? The drama class completed its Shakespeare unit that included studying two of his most popular tragedies: Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet. Surprisingly, most of the students seemed to enjoy this (or else they’re pretty good actors in which case, drama class is the perfect place for them). We also finished with Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible. Currently, we are combining with the high school choir class to study a unit on musical theater. Singin’ in the Rain is the focus of our study and, coincidentally, it is what we will perform for our spring musical. This class will switch to Speech next semester.
In journalism, we continue to produce articles for our online publication, which takes up a fair bit of our time. We certainly have some budding journalists this year. We are currently working on our final project which counts as our final exam. It is a 12 slide presentation in which they locate 12 different types of articles and access their “newsworthiness” based on certain criteria such as timeliness, proximity, consequence, and conflict.
English 1I continues with their study of Michael Dorris’ A Yellow Raft in Blue Water. They seem to be liking it so far. We are pushing hard to try to get it done by the time we break. Three snow days have put us a bit behind.
Composition I class is a dual credit class where students receive both high school and college credit from LPTC. We have just finished a comparison essay and are now writing a problem solution MLA style research essay. We will finish out the semester with an argumentative essay. This course will also change to dual credit public speaking next semester. Students who successfully complete both courses will graduate with 6 transferable college credits thanks to the generosity of the school district.
It’s been a great year thus far. The one-act season has come to an end. We competed in the Lewis & Clark Conference One-Act Contest a couple of weeks ago and we finished in the top half of our conference with a 4th place finish. The judges had some wonderful things to say about our play. We have a few things to smooth out, but all in all, the kids are taking ownership of the production and are definitely having fun. With that said, I want to wish everyone a belated Happy Thanksgiving and an early Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Let’s see what 2020 has to offer.