Hello, students! I’m Mrs. Reed, and welcome to my English Language Arts class video blogs. I’ve created these videos to help you review some of the key ideas we discuss in my classroom. Every year I use these videos differently, so pay attention to the directions I give in class.
Today I’d like to tell you about why I am teaching English Language Arts, and why you’re taking my class. Why is it important for you to be in my class?
The first reason is that reading and writing, or simply communication, is a powerful tool. Whether you read a novel, watch the news, or see someone’s Instagram caption, you are getting information. You are learning about other people, places, cultures, lifestyles, and hearing stories. When you’re reading, you might connect two cultures or ideas, or connect a character to your personal life. You might understand someone that’s different from you, or be able to view your life from a different point of view. Reading makes our world richer and more full of life, and it makes you more connected to the world around you.
In my class, “reading and writing” is not just about books. It’s about communication. Yes, of course we will read books because that is one big way that we communicate! However, I think learning to “read and write” also means learning to understand or create pictures, commercials and ads, Youtube videos, movies, social media– anything that communicates ideas. In my class we will be learning how to communicate using anything from a text message to a book that’s 100 years old.
Second, communication is about learning to use your voice. Those who communicate well have a voice, and they can be heard. Learning to write, to give speeches, to talk with a teammate, to create a video– it gives you the chance to say something. In history and today, there are many people that do not have the freedom to speak their mind. You do have that freedom. I want you to learn how to communicate well; to say exactly what you want to say, how you want to say it, so that you have a voice.
Third is that we use communication skills everyday! This could be the easiest class for you, because the things we learn here are around us all the time. It’s already a part of your day-to-day life! If you’re new to speaking English, but you can speak another language like Spanish or American Sign Language, you might have trouble with words and writing, but you will still be able to connect big ideas, and learn to express yourself in my class. This is a worry-free class– learning to communicate is easy, because we already do it naturally. My class is to help you improve the skills you already have, and help you grow in areas you need work in. I know that each of you is already a good communicator, and you will just practice that more in my course.
Even if English is your least favorite subject, I want you to learn how to communicate better this year. I want you to know how to get connected to the world, and have your own voice. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote this quote:
That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.
Let that sink in for a few moments. I am looking forward to spending this year with you as your English teacher. See you in class!