Mira Costa High School

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"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 2013-14
Period 1
AP English
Period 2 Sophomore English
Period 3 Freshman English
Period 4 Freshman English

Period 5 Sophomore English
Period 6 Conference

I will be using the Canvas website to post homework assignments and documents. Powerschool will be another source of information. 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. Powerschool 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. I keep an analog grade book and encourage students to make a record of returned assignment grades. PowerSchool grades will be updated approximately every five weeks.

The Canvas platform for blog posts will also be utilized as part of an ongoing adoption of a new Learning Management System. This year is a first year for teachers so be patient as we learn the system together.

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 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.
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 

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 serves this year as the Grade Level Co-ordinator for the 9th grade.

Shawn's husband works at UCLA and their three children have all attended MBUSD schools; her eldest recently graduated from CAL with an architecture degree and is working in San Francisco. Daughter number 2 will be spending the next few years in Quebec studying at McGill University and the youngest Chen is now a 9th grader spending his free time on drumline. In her "spare time" Shawn reads, knits, runs, gardens, and cooks.