Student 1: We are going to read a novel, right? What’s it called?
Mr. Pedrech: Well, there are 5 novels to choose from. You don’t have to choose the same novel as everyone else. So, for example, 3 of you could read the Eleventh Plague, 7 of you might read The Heaven Shop, and so on. We will spend 3 weeks or so on the novels.
Student 2: I’ve heard that we start Shakespeare in Grade 9. Is that right?
Mr. Pedrech: Yep. Traditionally, we study Romeo and Juliet in Grade Nine. There are, however, other Shakespearean plays we can examine instead. Either way, we will dedicate 3 weeks or so to Shakespeare.
Student who is not a fan of Math: Now, I am no fan of Math, but I am fairly sure that 3 weeks + 3 weeks is 6 weeks. What are we going to do with the rest of our time here?
Mr. Pedrech: Well, it seems to me that the purpose of English class is threefold: you need to become better readers, better communicators, and better collaborators. Here is what I mean:
- readers (not JUST words, but receiving the messages of others): listening, reading, and analysing
- communicators (authoring your own messages): speaking, writing, media production
- collaborators: actively learning from and with others
The majority of our time will be dedicated to these things. Importantly, because your strengths and your needs are different from your peers’, we will try to personalize this course as much as we can. Your plan might be very different from someone else’s because, after all, you are not someone else.
Student who is exceptionally curious: I am very curious, Mr. Pedrech; where do we start?
Mr. Pedrech: Good question. We start with basic collaboration skills.