Reading, Writing, & Exercising Your Voice in the English Department
The English Department’s chief aims are: to expose students to literature from a variety of genres, cultures, and time periods; to encourage students to become active learners; to help students to become confident and adept writers; and, to assist students in the development of their skills in critical thinking, close reading, and verbal expression.
We expect students to read, and when we assign reading, it is what we call “the work.” In choosing reading assignments, we attempt to balance reading pleasure, academic value, and accessibility to students as readers and thinkers. At MA, we work on the skills needed to become active and critical readers. This kind of approach to reading takes time, energy, and diligence. It is our belief that careful readers become careful thinkers and writers.
Thoughtful, lively, analytical, and critical writing is the hallmark of our English program at MA. All of our alumni who return and visit us note that MA’s writing program has more than prepared them for the rigors of academic writing in college and beyond. We privilege the process of writing over the product, and therefore expect to write, re-write, and revise often. Whether one's writing assignment is reflective, creative, or analytical, one will be practicing his/her writing skills often in all of his/her English classes.
Being at MA gives students the wonderful opportunity to exercise their voice— in all areas of school life. In English class, one may do this in a lot of ways: writing, discussion, group work, and activities. Moravian Academy is dedicated to creating a positive, inclusive environment that embraces diversity in all forms and rejects any form of hostility, discrimination, and/or bullying. Especially in the study of English, we encounter many diverse perspectives both through written texts and through classroom contexts. As participants in our classroom discussions and as individuals who are learning about themselves and others, students should strive to honor the thoughts, experiences, and diversity of all classmates.
Top 5 things your teacher wants you to know about English Class:
5. We strive to make our courses awesome.
The English Department is staffed with experienced and passionate educators, and we love what we do. While we all follow the aims of the Department, each teacher will bring the course material to students in slightly different ways, according to their interests, passions, and personalities. The material and the aims of every course will be to the standards and rigors of the MA English Department.
4. Your voice matters.
Using voice both in class discussions and in students' writing is of great importance to the English teacher. One of our goals in English is to support students in their finding their authentic voice and supporting the expression of it. We encourage students to engage with our classes and be fully present and supportive of others in the classroom.
3. Students have our unconditional, positive regard.
One's English teacher is here to help and support one's learning and will do so with positivity and professionalism.
2. Grades are not the only metric of success.
Students are learners and not numbers or letter grades. This is to say that symbols or letters can at times inadequately represent students' learning. Student improvement and progress in English is what one's teacher will focus on, and there will be ample opportunity to self-reflect and converse with one's teacher about one's successes and challenges in English class.
1. Doing the work is the key to improvement.
One's teacher will come to class every day, ready to engage with students about English, and we hope students do the same! As students are probably already aware, there are no shortcuts to true learning and mastery of a subject: there is only the work to be done to the best of one's ability. One's teacher asks students to do their best, keep an open mind with their coursework, and reflect honestly about their learning.