Policy and Procedure

In order to make this year successful, embrace the following information:

  1. Arrival: It is imperative that you make it to class on time every day.  If for some reason you will be late for school, please provide a parent or guardian’s note of explanation.  Lateness must not become a habit because not only does it affect your performance in my class due to reduced participation, but also it is disruptive to a class already in progress and I do not tolerate disruption. Each unexcused lateness will result in a 5 point deduction to your participation grade.  Often short book quizzes are given at the beginning of class, so if you are late and miss the quiz, you will get a big fat “goose egg” (zero). Walking in even one minute late is LATE.
  2. Attendance: In addition to progress through the course work, attendance also plays a vital role in your success.  All absences must be excused by a note from either parent/guardian or doctor.  It is the student’s responsibility to make up any class work, homework, and tests missed.  Blackboarddreams.com is a wonderful resource that can be accessed at any time to check on any missed homework.  So, frankly, there is no excuse.  Each unexcused absence will result in a 10 point deduction from your participation grade (in addition to the detriment of falling behind in class due to your absence).
  3. Be Prepared: Our days are short and we have lots of material to cover.  Therefore, you must come to class prepared every day with a pen, a loose-leaf 3-ring binder, and any relevant texts.  A student will be marked unprepared if one of these items is missing, and points will be deducted from the participation grade ultimately affecting the final grade.  Most importantly, if you do not have the relevant text for any given class period, your participation grade will suffer a 10 point deduction.  In short, DO NOT COME TO CLASS UNPREPARED.
  4. Homework/Reading is given every night.  Homework must be completed on time.  This means that the homework (whether reading response, essay, etc) should be ready at the beginning of class.  So, do not ask me to print out homework at the beginning of class; if you do not have it at the beginning of class, it is Late! Reading is given every night!  The course is obviously reading intensive and you are expected to complete the reading every night.  Let’s set aside the very real possibility that the reading may benefit you personally.  A significant percentage of your grade is based on participation and meaningful participation comes only from reading the literature and reading it closely.  Additionally, the Context Paper (PBA) requires a familiarity with and understanding of the collective course and all reading therein. Further, reading responses should be submitted to the class forum by midnight the day they are assigned.  One minute after midnight is late! Failure to hand in homework will result in a zero.  I expect the homework to be neat and complete.  If there is a legitimate reason for a student not completing his homework, the parent must send a note to me on the day the homework is due stating the reason it was not completed. Once again I encourage you to make use of the class website and check homework assignments.
  5. Stay Organized: Binders will be checked from time to time. Students are responsible for keeping their binders up to date, neat, and orderly.
  6. Plagiarism: Per Merriam-Webster: Plagiarize means to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own: use (another’s production) without crediting the source. Also to commit literary theft: present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.  So, if the thoughts or ideas are not your own, give credit where credit is due.  Once again, To avoid confusion, students should keep in mind that plagiarism occurs not only when someone copies an author word for word, but also when someone uses another’s ideas without giving credit, even if the ideas are paraphrased. Always document your sources! Plagiarism is academic suicide.  If you are found guilty of plagiarism you will receive a zero for the assignment.  Further, if you plagiarize the PBA, you will fail the course.
  7. Participate:  Ladies and gentlemen, this class is rooted in discussion.  You will find that in many ways you and your insightful thoughts and questions represent the foundation of each class.  You will be challenged to analyze, critique, synthesize, elaborate, explain, etc. each day.  Remember, in doing so, you are expected to bring the class back to the text as you prove your point.  Ultimately I look forward to seeing a text in a different light due to your words of wisdom and insight.  So speak up and let your voice be heard and be an active member of this community.
  8. Listen: It is a critical life skill!  Listen intently to your peers with an open mind avoiding your default intellectual impulse.  You will become a better student of English and a better YOU.
  9. Eye contact: When you refer to one of your peers (which I expect you to do often), look at him or her.  Also, NEVER give someone your back when he/she is talking.  That is just weirdly inhuman behavior.  So, turn around and make eye contact.
  10. Support: You will quickly learn that this year will be an intense experience, so be supportive of one another.
  11. Respect: I have established a classroom based on the principal of respect—WE respect each other.  Disruptive, rude, and disrespectful behavior will not be tolerated.  It is absolutely critical that each member of this community feel comfortable in sharing his/her thoughts.  Once again I will not allow anyone in this class to deny anyone the opportunity to freely participate in our “free flow of ideas.”  In short, I can stomach many issues in the classroom, but I have zero tolerance for any form of disrespect.
  12. Tutoring: I am here every day after school, usually accessible during lunch, as well as during tutoring hours.  If you have any questions, feel free to visit room 332.
  13. Packing Up to Go:  Often the most critical minutes in a class session are the last five, where conclusions are drawn and assignments are made. Please do not pack up your belongings before the end of class.  And absolutely DO NOT pack up while someone is talking.
  14. No Zero Policy: I believe all assessments and assignments are central to our larger reading and writing objectives this year. As such, it is critical that you complete all of them to ensure your success in this class, even if you are late in submitting the assignment. So, instead of getting a zero for failure to complete or submit an assignment, there will be a 15-point deduction for the first day late and a 10-point deduction for each day beyond that. If you turn in an essay one day late, instead of getting a zero for the assignment, you can still earn up to an 85. If you are two days late in submitting a reading response, you can still earn a 75, which is far better than a goose egg. And so on… The one exception to this policy is attendance quizzes! So, get to class on time!
Print Friendly, PDF & Email