First let me say, WELCOME to class!

I love teaching English and I hope that you will come to enjoy learning it. Here are some of the rules for my classroom that I want you to be familiar with so that we can have a respectful classroom that fosters opportunities for us all to learn, and, hopefully, to have some fun along the way. Rule #1 BE KIND TO MY BOOKS!! This applies to TEXTBOOKS as well as to CLASS NOVEL SETS and my PERSONAL BOOKS that you can check out from me. As you can see, many of the books are already in poor shape. Some are missing covers. Many have writing in them or drawings. DO NOT throw, toss, slam, bend, fold pages, mark, or in any way abuse these books. If I catch you treating my books in a disrespectful manner, you will receive infractions. This is your warning! Rule #2 BE KIND TO YOUR CLASSROOM! I put a lot of time and effort into how this room looks and where things go. You spend a lot of your time here just like I do, and don’t we both want a nice place to learn? If you move a desk, put it back. If you borrow a book or magazine, put it back where you found it. Do not take things off the bulletin board. Do not write on my desks or walls. Do not touch my whiteboards unless given permission—this includes running your fingers through what is written on the whiteboard or purposefully erasing letters. It takes time to write things on the board for my classes, and it is extremely rude and disrespectful to erase things off the board just because you are bored. Don’t do it. Rule #3 NO POOR ATTITUDES! You can, when appropriate, express your opinion. I know that not everyone likes or enjoys English. I know that you will not like or enjoy every assignment. But please, do not make any of the following (or similar) comments: this is stupid, this is pointless, I hate this class, English is dumb, this author is dumb, Shakespeare sucks, etc. I do not expect perfection—I know that one of these comments will probably escape your lips sometime this semester. But DO NOT MAKE A HABIT OF IT! These kind of comments make for a poor learning environment and they are very disrespectful to me and to your peers (the same goes for things like eye rolling, loud sighing, exasperated noises, etc). Rule #4 I ALWAYS ACCEPT LATE WORK! I wouldn’t assign something if I didn’t want you to learn it. I will accept late work until the end of each term, but be warned, you will not earn full credit for turning in assignments late—but you are still able to receive SOME credit. Do yourself a favor and complete ALL assignments ON TIME. However, if you can’t do that, remember that you should still TURN IT IN!!

Rule #5 ASSIGNMENTS ARE ONLY 70% OF YOUR GRADE! I calculate your final grade based on class assignments as well as your attitude in class, your participation, how hard you work in class, being respectful, peer relations, etc. Each week is worth 15 participation points—that is 240 points of your final grade! So now that you have learned my rules, please DO NOT forget them. I expect you to keep this syllabus in your binder or somewhere that you will be able to see and remember these rules. They will also be posted here in the classroom to help remind you. So what are SCHRUTE BUCKS?? Schrute Bucks are positive rewards that you receive for being on task, getting the word of the week, answering the brain teasers, doing well on assignments and tests, appropriate behavior and participation, and such. You can collect these Schrute Bucks and use them to buy things from me, like: pieces of candy (1-2 Schrute Bucks), full-size candy bars (5 Schrute Bucks), extra credit points (5 Schrute Bucks), pick the music during a work day (10 Schrute Bucks, class appropriate and approved music only), or a movie day (25 Schrute Bucks, class appropriate and approved movies only). Schrute Bucks are a privilege and NOT a right. If I find that you have been abusing the Schrute Bucks privilege by copying, stealing, ‘borrowing’, or being given someone else’s Schrute Bucks without my permission, you will become INELIGIBLE to receive Schrute Bucks INDEFINITELY. Do not beg for Schrute Bucks. If you have to ask for them, you are obviously not doing well enough to receive them. Each grade has a crate at the back of the room. Each student in the grade has his or her own folder in the crate. This is where you will keep your reading journal. This is also where I will pass back all your graded assignments. Please keep all assignments in your folder until the end of the term. This way, if you are marked as missing an assignment, you can check your folder if you believe you completed the assignment and there is an error on my part.

You are in English 12, which is British Literature. For this semester, we will be reading works about Britain and works by British authors. Each semester, all of my English classes read a novel or play. This spring, you will be reading “Macbeth.” We will also be reading works by English poets, like T.S. Eliot, Jon Keats, and William Blake, and we will be doing a project on “censored” books.

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