About Me

I am in my second year of teaching high school English, though I taught ESL K-8 for a year beforehand. I received my Master’s in Education in August 2009. I will pursue my doctorate later – when my children are bigger. I have been married for six years and have two phenomenal preschoolers.

I smile. A lot. I strive to respect people at all times. I also love discussing (yeah, you could call it arguing) because it allows me to better understand my own ideas and whether or not they are worth defending. Sometimes they are not. I think being able to change one’s mind is a critical skill that is less valued than it should be.

My philosophy of education is that it should be relatively authentic, it should be as student centered as is appropriate for material but still beneficial to students, and that we should have high expectations to the extent that students are appropriately challenged. I hope you can see that I have a strong desire for balance and am not a bandwagon rider.

My choice of English is not entirely typical. I love math and philosophy and religion and politics and more. How does this translate to my passion for teaching English classes? Through reading we are exposed to a multitude of voices and ideas that hopefully differ from our own. These allow us to make insights about ourselves and the world around us by viewing the world through these other lenses. Perspective.

Through writing and reflecting we work through logic and how we interpret and perceive these ideas and worlds. Through dialogue with our peers, we not only increase our exposure but we also learn how to respectfully discuss, clarify, and deliberate on ideas. If we could all do this, imagine what improvements could be made.

Additionally, I should note that I love curriculum. The layers of ideas, voices, classic, new, reading, writing, and then carefully adding the skills, practice…….Beautiful. 🙂


4 responses to this post.

  1. Thanks for the twitter add – you seem to have integrated technology into your teaching and your reflections are great – maybe we can share ideas and have students collaborate in the future.


  2. Posted by Mr. P on February 3, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    Great blog, I’m also in my second year of teaching; I teach 8th grade Language Arts. Do you do any blogging with your students? I have a wordpress blog that we use in class (http://mrpirkl.wordpress.com/). They write about what they are reading, use it for peer review, and respond to other prompts I put to them.
    I have my own blog here: http://talesofan8thgradenothing.wordpress.com/


  3. Posted by Holly on April 16, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Hi–I love your Great Gatsby resources. I’m wondering if you would share how you do your scene performance and when you do it. This is my second year teaching Gatsby and I’d love to incorporate it. I would love it if you’d e-mail me directly so we could talk.

    Thanks. A global colleague.


  4. Posted by Lasse Zieseniss on November 4, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Dear Mrs. Follis,

    I am a student of British & American Studies at the University of Bielefeld (Germany) and aspiring to become a teacher myself.
    Our University offers a certificate, proving my “competence” at using media as tools for teaching. To acquire this certificate, we are expected to create a wiki on a “relevant educational subject”, which, in my case is ‘Visions of the Future – Exploring Alternative Worlds’ (utopia – dystopia and genetic engineering, that is).

    I find the content on your page quite useful and would like to use parts of various articles (specifically your ideas for classroom activites and charts or diagrams to be found on this site) for my wiki. The Wiki itself is password protected and intended for use by students only. I plan on actually using it, once I get to teach a class on that subject.

    Would you grant me permission, to use subject-related content found on this website in my wiki?

    With kind regards,

    Lasse Zieseniss.

    PS: I posted this comment to your old page, before I realised it was no longer being used. Either way, the usefulness of your site has not diminished!


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