"If I lose the light of the sun, I will write by candlelight, moonlight, no light. If I lose paper and ink, I will write in blood on forgotten walls. I will write always. I will capture nights all over the world and bring them to you."

Henry Rollins

Classes 2020-21 (Course Descriptions attached below)
Period 1
Love, Marriage, Delusions? Senior Seminar
Period 2  Dangerous Books Senior Seminar
Period 3  English 9 Freshman English
Period 4  AP English Lit

Period 5 
Period 6 

I will be using the GOOGLE CLASSROOM website to post homework assignments and documents.  Additionally, the students are encouraged to use the information posted in class on the designated board area--they should write assignments in a planner--either digital or analog--and become more self-sufficient in their study habits as the years progress. Aeries is the tool used at Mira Costa High School to convey information about assignment grades, progress reports, and term grades to students and their parents. Aeries Attendance is also a valuable tool for students and parents to track attendance. ATTENDANCE can impact student achievement grades
A source of confusion for many is the difference between GRADEBOOK and GRADE REPORTING.
Both occur in Aeries. I will give students instruction on this in class and also offer an overview at Back to School Night. (the Back to School Powerpoints are posted in each student's Google Classroom)
I keep an analog grade book and encourage students to make a record of returned assignment grades. Aeries grades will be updated approximately every five weeks.

Google Classroom allows students to share with one another in posts and other media. We expect behavior in person and when posting remotely in written remarks to respect the standards of the MBUSD mission statement on equity and inclusion.

I spend a great deal of in-class time instructing students in the use of online learning tools. One on one assistance is offered and checking for understanding in the form of partner assignments and in-class conferencing; I offer students the chance to improve in the use of these tools. If your student has concerns about any aspect of class, please encourage him or her to visit me during office hours. Office Hours for the English Department is on TUESDAY
(office hours will be held in person on campus; students and parents may schedule meetings via Zoom by appt email at [email protected] to arrange an appt)
Please feel free to contact me via email with any questions you may have about the curriculum, methods, or your child's individual progress.

Shawn McMullen Chen 
[email protected]

A Mira Costa graduate-class of 1982, Shawn earned her undergraduate degree from UCLA in 1986--English Literature with Special Fields; Italian Language and Literature.

After graduating from college, Shawn traveled throughout the US and Europe--motorhomes, Cessnas, trains, boats, buses and bikes are all familiar forms of transportation to her. Her years working for Mrs. Gooch's Natural Food Market funded her pursuit of a teaching credential and M.Ed which she earned from UCLA in 1988.

After teaching for 6 years at Leuzinger HIgh School, Shawn enjoyed a full-year sabbatical funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities to pursue independent research at Yale, Columbia, The New York Public Library, and the Archives of American Art housed at the Huntington Museum. The focus of academic inquiry was on the development of a uniquely American Artistic vision as it is embodied in the works of Gertrude Stein and Georgia O'Keeffe. Since 1994, she has been teaching at Mira Costa serving as curriculum development lead on many projects--including but not limited to: the Advanced Placement Audit Documentation in 2010 and the development of curriculum for the Advanced English 1-2 course in 2011. She has served since 2013 as president of the Manhattan Beach Teachers Union and this year is serving on the MBUSD Equity Team, the Steering Committee to re-open schools in a time of Coronavirus, as an ex-officio member of the PTA DAC and in many other formal and informal leadership roles.

Shawn's husband is retired from UCLA and their three children have all attended MBUSD schools; her eldest graduated from CAL with a degree from the School of Environmental Design; they worked in San Francisco for a few years, and then went on to complete her M. Arch at Princeton. They now work in the non-profit sector designing housing solutions as part of the LA Voice team. Daughter number 2 lives in Quebec where she completed a degree in Environmental Science at McGill University and recently earned her citizenship status in Canada. Her work in cooperative agriculture includes a vision to repopulate Quebec with a variety of Chestnut tree currently suffering near extinction. The youngest Chen graduated from MCHS in 2020, studied remotely at UCLA during the pandemic and will graduate in June 2024 from the Luskin School. In her "spare time" Shawn reads, knits, runs, gardens, and cooks.