Thomas Duane Staff Photo

Other Class Info

Mr. Duane's Course Syllabus/Expectations for Each Grade  

This document will be an important guide to surviving English this year. Your English Language Arts classes are intended to give you a background in clear communication skills, an appreciation for the arts and humanities, and preparations for your future endeavors post-high school. You will be held accountable for the information in this packet starting today, after we go over it.

 You, your parents/guardians, and I have an incredibly high standard to meet, as educators and students. Knob Noster High School has always reached for the stars, to use the cliché, and we are held to the standard of those that came before us. We are expected to pave the way for those who are to come after us. These are the class rules and procedures, and they exist to make it easier for us in our annual educational adventure. If you want to reach your maximum potential, do not waste your time breaking rules and getting into trouble. Be efficient! We are here to learn, and that is sacrosanct.

 English I is a foundational class in which we will study the basics of grammar, writing, and literature to prepare for later grades and post-high school. This includes study of the parts of speech, types of writing (major writing projects), and reading major landmark works of literature. We will be reading: Romeo and Juliet, The Odyssey, To Kill a Mockingbird, though we will read additional short stories and poems—possibly another novel if time allows!

English II has a focus in its approach to literature. Most of the stories we read will be about humanity, and specifically about the inhumanities mankind commits against itself. We will be reading literature from around the world, from America and outside of it, to understand the scope of such a tragic theme. We will be studying Holocaust and Civil Rights literature (fiction and non-fiction), as well as Antigone, Julius Caesar, and the Nobel Peace Prize winning novel Night.

English III has a focus in its approach to literature. All of the literature we read will be of the American literary tradition. We will study famous and important figures such as Mark Twain and William Faulkner, and go from early Native American stories from before Colonization up until the present day (I hope!).

English IV has a focus in its approach to literature. All of the literature we read will be of the British tradition, from the motherland of our English language. We will be reading many major works of British literature, including, but not limited to, Hamlet, MacBeth, Pride & Prejudice, Frankenstein, A Christmas Carol, and Beowulf. English IV is a culmination of your work as a high school student of English Language Arts, and let us treat this challenging, rewarding year as such.

 English IV is also focused on career readiness. In this class, we will formulate resumes and prepare presentations, which are both incredibly useful skills for your future careers. With your developed literacy and writing skills, you will no doubt have the tools to succeed as you go to college and the workforce.

 Lastly, before I get into the rules, know this: you are young men and women, not children. At KNHS, you will be treated as such as long as you behave as such.

 Now, our common sense, reasonable classroom rules:

 1.      Be prompt.

2.      Be prepared.

3.      Be polite.

 Here are our more in-depth classroom expectations:

 1.      To earn an A—do your work, do it to the best of your ability, learn from your mistakes, and help me help you. If the classroom is a basketball team, I am your coach. We work together for a common goal, and that goal is your success!

 2.      No late work accepted. Each late assignment will earn a 0% every time.

 3.      If you are absent the day an assignment is due, have it with you the next day you are in this class. Emergencies and additional time will be handled as they arise.

 4.      Assignments without names on them will be considered not turned in. Put your full name, date, and block number on the top, right-hand corner of the page. For typed papers, have a heading on each page so none of your pages get lost.

 5.      Work left in your locker will be marked as late and you will lose credit. Have what you need with you when you come to class.

 6.      Be on time to class, and handle all restroom duties and drinks of water during passing time. We will not stop class to wait for you.

 7.      When you enter class, turn in your homework into the folder at the front of the room. After you have done this, or if there is no homework, do any daily bell work on the projector screen.

 8.      Show respect and attentiveness to all people and items in the classroom (and outside, for that matter). Treat others as you wish to be treated. Rudeness will not be tolerated.

 9.      Keep electronics put away, unless you are given permission otherwise. Repeated offenses will lead to a write up and an office referral.

 10.  Class participation is a requirement. You should be an active listener who actively participates in class discussions. I was once shy when I was in school, and we have to find ways to overcome our shyness sometimes.

 11.  Most importantly, learn through every experience. You will not only grow as a student of English through the year, but also as a person. If you give your all, you will find yourself advancing in your studies towards being a successful individual. Also, you might just have fun. ;-) (The one and only emoticon you will [probably] see from me this year).

 Now let’s get working!