English rocks

I’m Gretchen Taylor and this is my 11th year teaching English at Options! I’m excited for another year of teaching and to tell you a little about what’s going on in my classes.

All of the core classes (English 9-1, 10-1, and 11-1) started out by writing a three paragraph story about a topic of the student’s choice. The students then spent a day revising their stories and then read the stories that other students in the building had written. The students did not know who had written which story and were asked to offer a compliment, a suggestion, and a rating to each writer. The classes are then moving on to reading our first novels for the year.

In addition to those classes, I’m teaching a short story class. We’ve started off the year by reading the short stories that several famous authors wrote in response to the children’s book The Adventures of Harris Burdick. Today, the students started reading “Another Place, Another Time,” which deals with time travel as the 4th dimension. Next week, the students will be responding to the story by writing their own stories involving time travel.

I’m also teaching a Themes in Literature class that is focused on fairy tales. We started off by examining some of the myths about fairy tales, such as the fact that while they are normally thought of as children’s stories, in reality they are often quite gruesome and unacceptable for small children. As we continue, we’ll be studying specific fairy tales including Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, and – of course – Cinderella as well as several lesser known fairy tales.