Welcome to Class with Mrs. Rains!

If you’re here, there’s a good chance you’re enrolled in one of my classes. I have been a high school English and history teacher for over twenty-seven years.  I am actively involved in curriculum development and implementation, and I am especially interested in using technology to engage students and bring a more varied learning experience to the classroom. In 2015, I was honored to receive the The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Award. This tremendous honor was the result of a former student’s nomination citing the impact I had on her life. You can read about the award at the Kennedy Center website.

I teach both CP and Honors English I here at Gatlinburg-Pittman. CP stands for college prep and is the English most appropriate for most students; after four years of the CP English curriculum, you should be ready to take on the challenges of most college reading and writing tasks. Honors English is intended to challenge the best and brightest English students, preparing them to become superior writers, speakers, and consumers of information. Honors differs from College Prep in that it is faster paced, covers vocabulary in a more in-depth manner, approaches the study of literature in an analytical mode and does not cover basic grammar skills. This course emphasizes critical thinking.

 

The literature we will be reading in both classes will include Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and  William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. In Honors English we will add R. L. Stephenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder as well as selected poems and short stories. Other novels will be included as the curriculum develops throughout the year.

I am so excited about an update to Honors English! This year for the first time, Honors English I class will be paired with AP Human Geography to help students better apply their analytical skills to practical applications such as interpreting non-fiction texts and studying the development of themes across differing platforms.

In addition to teaching English, I like to don my tri corner hat and tackle history classes! I love teaching World History classes! I’m especially interested in the history of the ancient world, and enjoy teaching the History of the Bible in which we explore the history behind the religion that is one of the most powerful forces in the world.  When we study the background for Animal Farm, you will experience some of my history teacher persona as we look at the Russian Revolution of 1917.

Big News!

This year, I’m honored and extremely excited to be teaching AP US Government and Politics! I have been spending my summer learning the course material and designing the class. For those of you who may not know, AP courses are designed to equate in rigor the college courses for which students can gain credit on the AP exam. In my training, I have learned many techniques for making our class fun as well as challenging! I’m committed to preparing you all to score well on the AP exam. I look forward to seeing you in my class as we explore the underpinnings of American democracy and learn to decipher the maze of modern American politics.

 

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