Dear Students

Dear Parents and Students,

My name is Bryce Olson. I am going to be teaching your child’s English class this upcoming school year. I am very excited for everything that is in-store but before I go into that, I would like to tell you a little bit about me. I graduated college with a degree in English Language Arts from Chadron State College. Before college, I spent a lot of time playing different sports as well as a lot of time reading books. This is where my love for English came from and the reason that I have developed into the person I am today.

Now let’s get back to the present. During this upcoming school year, we will be covering a lot of different materials. One of the main things that I would like to focus on specifically is writing. Writing has become an even bigger part of our society over the years especially with all of the new technology that now surrounds us. Writing is something that a lot of students dread, and English class is generally the least liked class by many. I hope to change that for my students.

A lot of what causes anxiety for students in an English class is trying to follow all of the ‘rules’ and trying to make what they are writing fit into the category that a teacher has asked them to write about. I am going to try and approach my class in a different way. With all of my assignments, I hope to allow for as much individuality as each student who is participating in it. For example, say that I am asking for a research paper. I will give the students the option to pick what kind of research paper they write by offering a few different topics that they can pick from or, if they really would like something different they can come talk to me and get another topic approved. This goes for almost any of the writing that we will be doing this semester.

Another type of writing that we will be working with in our classroom is journaling or free writing. I will set aside certain class time specifically just to journal. I will also assign some journaling as homework, just to give students some extra time alone to work on them. Something that I hope to achieve with these journals is giving the students an outlet to use as their own. It is the best way to see what kind of writers they are. If they are allowed to write about anything, I will be able to see more of their creativity. Journaling is all about writing, not so much what type of writing is being done within them. A journal is a place where there are no grammar rules or need to worry about punctuation, just a place to write.

Something that comes from journaling is developing better writers. It is impossible to be a good writer without writing a lot. That would be equivalent to saying that someone who has never played baseball is immediately going to be great at it. It is not going to work so instead of hoping for it to come naturally, they must practice.

There will be other modes of instruction throughout this semester besides writing which include some reading and grammar lessons as well as the occasional vocabulary test but our main focus will be on writing.

I am very excited about this upcoming school year and cannot wait to learn more about and with your students.

Your future English teacher,

Ms. Bryce Olson

 

Principles:

Creativity allows for the best learning.

Learning should be a want and a need, but one must want.

Writers must write.

Respect.

Don’t be afraid of asking questions or speaking up, I will not always be 100% right.

Differences are to be cherished, not diminished.

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