My junior and senior high school English teacher was new when we had her. She was also very lazy. She did not really teach us much of anything. And because of that, she really failed a lot of us when it came to college. Here is pretty much all of the things we did my junior and senior year.
Junior year, we started by reading the stories in our literature textbook. We would read a new story everyday and then answer all of the questions at the end. Then, the next day we would turn in our questions and then read the next story while she sat at her desk and did something on the computer. I started to doubt whether she even read through our assignments so one day when I did not understand a question, I just wrote that I did not understand it instead of an answer. She actually did read our assignments that time.
Later, we read Huckleberry Finn. The thing is, many of us had read it for reading class when we were in middle school. Only this time around, it was horrible. We had over one hundred vocabulary words that we had to make vocab maps for. And some of the words we had to define were not words that are really used except on the water so it was not easy to define the words. We also had a ton of questions to answer. It was long, tedious work.
One day, the principal walked in to observe her teaching. She immediately jumped up and began talking about something. We were all confused because she had not taught us a thing the entire year. We knew why she was beginning at that moment.
We also did some writing that year but it was nothing special. I remember she thought that we should make a portfolio of everything that we did that year but most of our assignments were really just trash. Our portfolios consisted of a couple papers and a bunch of questions.
I expected to do more senior year. I figured she would have realized what she needed to do for English class. Plus, I was taking AP English and I figured she would give us more to do. I thought wrong though. She gave us less to do because we were all in AP government and had a lot of homework in that class. She did do a little more in the regular senior English class but not very much.
We were given homework that summer. We had to read three books and do little journal summaries of each chapter. We also had to write a paper. She only collected the paper though.
We began the year by reading The Iliad. I got the highest test score and it was barely passing. We were told that the questions on the test were from the AP test so she curved our grades.
Then, we spent several weeks doing this mask project where we had to write about our deepest secrets and then share them with the class. It really did not have much to do with English.
After that, we moved to Hamlet. We got to read almost the entire play in class. And since our book had both the original language as well as modern English, we read both. We also had questions to answer but we also did those in class. To finish, we watched a couple versions of the movie. The entire Hamlet unit lasted three months.
Our teacher was still spending the entire class on her computer. She was worse than the year before. She would let us spend the first twenty minutes of class talking about anything but English. When we finally decided to get started, she would only get involved if we were confused by something.
One time, she decided we should read this book and write an essay for a scholarship. We all took a copy of this long book but we thought this assignment was optional. It turns out she wanted to grade the essays. After much debate, she finally decided that we could read a different book our freshman year of college and write an essay. Almost everyone in the class bought the book so that they would never have to do the essay for her.
Our final project of senior year was a memory book. We were supposed to write about twenty different things and then do some scrapbooking to make it look cool. The memory book was always a big deal in the past. But our teacher did not really care. If you put a bunch of random stuff in your memory book, you passed. Even if you did not do it, you were fine because the book was only worth one hundred points.
A couple of us also decided to take the AP test at the end of the year. Many chose not to though because of our horrible teacher not teaching us anything in two years. No one passed the test though.
We tried getting the administration to see that our English teacher was horrible but they did not believe us. A couple years later though, she got angry at something and resigned at the last minute. But it was too late. The damage had been done. Many of us had lost confidence in our English ability. For me, that meant not taking honor English in college.