Mira Costa High School

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Education:
University of Southern California, Master's Degree, 1990
University of Southern California, Bachelor of Arts in English, 1988
University of Madrid, 1992
University of Cambridge, England, 1988
AB2913 class/clad certification, 2008
Stanford Teacher of the Year, 2007
Mira Costa High School Teacher of the Year, 2009
Manhattan Beach Unified School District Teacher of the Year, 2009
Los Angeles County Teacher of the Year, 2009
Sandpipers Teacher of the Year, 2015
 
"Dare to think for yourself."---Voltaire
 
Philosophy of Teaching:
People can hear me bellowing through the halls  "I want you to be my cornucopias of knowledge." My philosophy of teaching is to make sure all my students walk out of my classroom feeling confident and successful in my English content area and for students to become independent life-long learners.
As a veteran teacher and life-long learner, I accommodate the standards using department developed benchmarks and the curriculum while breathing life into the lessons my students are learning. My classroom is student-centered and student-driven, and I try to reach out to each individual child. I yearn for my students to reach their maximum potential and to be inspired by my passion for life and literature. It is important that I am respectful to my students and in doing so, they respect me. To quote our Mira Costa High School Expected Schoolwide Learning Results, my students will become critical thinkers, effective communicators, self-directed learners, and responsible citizens. My classroom is a safe haven where students can express themselves and know they matter and their opinions matter. It is a difficult time for teenagers who vacillate between adolescence and adulthood. I desire to help them find their voice. Through literature, students learn life lessons and make these connections to find their own universal truths. I celebrate every individual. I nurture their voice in the world and I make sure they know they can make a difference. My students never cease to amaze me on a daily basis, and I am blessed that my students allow me to be a part of their lives. I feel privileged to be a teacher at Mira Costa High School and I am honored to work alongside my colleagues. I love being a teacher and in my colorful way, I hope my love of life and literature challenges and inspires others to reach for their dreams. As Maya Angelou said, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

English Course Description:

The thrust of this course is to help students improve their competency in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Students read and discuss selections from world literature that encompass all genres and that deal with a variety of themes and topics. The students participate in small and large group discussions centering on the analysis of themes and values in literature. They concentrate on improving skills in writing coherent essays.

The core reading lists that the students will receive, consist of the books we will read in class 1st and 2nd semester. I suggest buying these books for personal use. You will benefit from owning your own copy because you may write your own notes/annotations in the margins and underline important passages and quotes which may help with exams and essays.

Each student will read an outside reading book a semester.
 
Essays
Vocabulary tests
Discussion Questions
Presentations
Quizzes/Reading checks
Unit exams