A Request To Former Students From Me As I Enter Year 20 of Teaching 

Actually, it’s more than one request. 

Officially, pre-planning for the 2017-2018 school year starts next week. And yes, I am looking forward to it. I love what I do and where I get to teach. 

In the nineteen years that I have taught, I estimate that I have taught upwards to 3000 students, graded tens of thousands of essays (AP Lang will do that), taught over a 200 different novels, plays, and longer works of nonfiction, and written hundreds of unique college recommendations. There is not a grade level that I have not taught – remediation to advanced. 

I would do it all again. But I am in a place of  reflection and I would like some perspective from those who have been in my classes. 

So I want to see if any of my former students would let me know the following if you are willing to offer your answers in the comments of this blog post or on Facebook or any other means. 

What work of literature or nonfiction was your favorite that you have never forgotten its impact?

What assignment still stands out as one that really made you think and extend yourself? 

What skill did you learn from class that has served you well?

Do you remember where in the classroom you sat?

I am thinking of posting on my blog the “Items of the Week” every Sunday night for those who know what they are (AP Lang students).  Do you think that would be a good thing?

Again, do not feel you have to answer but I would like to know. And if you would be so kind to share with others that you know who might have had me as an English teacher. 

I sincerely appreciate your help, feedback, and time. 

But mostly, I am grateful to have been a part of your lives. 

2 thoughts on “A Request To Former Students From Me As I Enter Year 20 of Teaching 

  1. My favorite work of literature would have to be “Heart of Darkness” even though it was without a doubt that hardest book I’ve ever read.

    The assignment that stands out to me the most is the one where you had us pick a song that we liked and decipher it. I picked an Eminem song of course.

    I learned how to really BS my way through a paper if I couldn’t find enough things to talk about to make my points.

    I sat in the back left when looking in the classroom two seats from the back.

    I don’t think that posting the “Items of the week would be a bad thing” I always looked forward to you giving us those because you made news into a tolerable form for our generation.


  2. Egan,
    I would love to answer your questions for you.
    1. Two of my most favorite works of literature in your class were the Great Gatsby and the Crucible. It could just be because I’m a theater person but you often don’t study a whole lot of plays in the English classes that I’ve had, and I feel like that can be a good way to broaden students horizons to different styles of literature. The Great Gatsby is a classic (also a play I’ve worked) and I think it has a lot to offer students in terms of America and their own inner truths.
    2. The only assignment I can really remember is the Rattler essay. As much as we hated returning to it throughout the year, I believe the impact it had in terms of us discovering our own growth was astounding. The practice AP tests also helped considerably when preparing for that daunting exam.
    3. In your class I grew significantly in both my capabilities and understanding of different styles of writing. I also learned the importance of being connected to what is happening around you which made me love items of the week. Often, we will forget to pay attention to the broader world around us and just knowing one current event can lead to so many stimulating and engaging conversations with anyone you may come across.
    4. Of course I remember where I sat, it was right under the phone because I pretty much hit my head every time I leaned back slightly. I had a good corner spot so that I could see all of the fun and interesting things hanging up around your room.
    5. I would love for you to blog items of the week. Not only is it a good way to be connected, but I could also assume that we will get more of your sense of humor and sarcasm along with it.
    Thank you for being such an amazing part of my life, and the lives of many other students along the way!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s