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me bw2With the discomfort of the humidity aside and my Mandarin skills slightly improved, I am thrilled to be a part of the Shekou International School community for the seventh year for 2015-16.  Please click on the school’s link for our Mission Statement and our Expected Student Learning Results (ESLRs).

I have been teaching for eleven years with my BA in English from The Pennsylvania State University Schreyer Honors College and my Masters in Education from Wake Forest University.  I am also certified by the PTC (Principal Training Center) in International School Leadership, completed in July of 2013.  Before Shekou, I was living in Washington, DC and teaching at Langley High School in northern Virginia.  I have also taught three summers abroad in various parts of Africa: Mombasa, Kenya; Cape Town, South Africa; and Tema, Ghana.  It is the love of challenge, diversity, and travel that keeps me exploring various parts of the world; I look forward to teaching, learning, and continually growing together with the students, parents, and staff of SIS, especially as the CAS Coordinator for the second year.

As a teacher, my expectations for the students are simple: maintain respect, integrity, and honor while having fun and aiming higher than one ever imagined possible.  I believe that the other running list of rules will follow suit naturally with these values in place.

What I teach:

IB English A: Language and Literature (grades 11 and 12):

IB English A is a two-year course of study designed to meet the requirements of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. It is a language and literature course with emphasis on close reading of texts for literary analysis in both oral and written commentary forms. Students will examine texts that include various genres such as fiction, non-fiction, poetry and drama. In addition to their regular assignments and assessments, students will produce works to be evaluated in line with the IB assessment criteria.

While the aims of SL and HL are quite similar, the students opting to choose HL in this course are expected to perform on a much more challenging level, beginning with the difference in number of required texts and hours. As such, dedication to independent study is crucial and necessary. When the students’ oral and written works are assessed at the end of two years, the HL students are expected to produce more work and will be evaluated on a more rigorous scale than the SL students.

TOK: Theory of Knowledge
Have you ever thought about what you know, how you know and what makes what you know to be true? This is one of the IB Core classes that challenges students to think about their knowledge claims.  It’s a class that should never be just confined to the four walls of a classroom; everything that the students learn and wonder about should be taken outside into the real world for inquiring, questioning, extending and growing.  Stop by any time to see the lively discussions that occur amongst the students in this incredibly thought-provoking, mind-blowing (in the words of my students) course.

Forensics: Art of Public Speaking (Grade 10):

It is not easy to get up in front of a group of people to be heard.  However, whether it is in front of one person, two people or a thousand, knowing how to present what you have to say is a crucial skill in the ever transforming world.  This is a course designed to build confidence and oratory skills, challenging the students to break out of their timidity and to speak with conviction and authority, to experience the power of the spoken word.

CAS and Service Learning Coordinator:

What is Service Learning, you ask? It’s a simple equation: Curriculum + Caring = Service Learning.  ELI5? (Explain It Like I’m 5): Teach me how to care.  If we learn the things that we do without knowing what to do with them to help improve the community around us, what’s the point? The purpose and vision of our Service Learning program (CAS included) is to garner care and respect for the self and others.

I look forward to a wonderful year, and please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, concerns, or comments via email: echo@sis.org.cn.  Please visit this blog regularly to see what’s happening in my classrooms, and follow me on Twitter, too!

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