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The Parrot

The Parrot

Behind The Scenes: Audubon’s English Department

tiero –
portrait of stressed man sleeping on a 3d book pile

The English department has had many changes, issues, and complications throughout the past few years. The close-knit department has been spread thin by obstacles thrown at them from losing a teacher in 2019, to navigating through online teaching, and now all having an abundance of students with not enough time. Though our English teachers have a lot on their plate, they still find a way to teach interesting stories and enjoy doing so. From Mrs. Cecchini, to Mr. Rowan, to Mrs. Wilson, our teachers have helped us improve our real-world skills with fictional stories and characters. Their jobs are not easy, so they have given us a glimpse into what it is like teaching at Audubon.

In 2019, Mrs. Kavanaugh retired leaving the English department with one less teacher. Because of COVID-19 and the number of students coming to class lowering, she was never replaced. Now that students are back in the classroom and class is back to normal, our English teachers are struggling. The average school day for them typically includes five classes, a prep period, and a duty period. Currently every English teacher is teaching six classes. Although it may not seem like one class adds too much to a teacher’s workload, an extra class affects time that is already so scarce. There is more grading, prep and physical instructional time, but less time for individual students. The quality of work and the ability to provide effective feedback has suffered greatly. They feel the amount of classes is “demanding” and “virtually impossible.” English is a laborious field to teach and requires more one-on-one time with the kids. An unanimous opinion among the three teachers interviewed was there should be a new hire soon to help out with the workload.  

Aside from the few issues in the English department, our teachers do love their jobs and what they teach. The English curriculum allows a decent amount of freedom as long as the required skills are being taught. They are also able to try out new techniques or tools each year. Mrs. Wilson, for example, is using a new website “Actively Learn”, for her students to read Frankenstein and answer questions. Our English teachers continue to try to improve what and how they teach to make sure students are getting the best out of their class. Another great aspect of our English teachers here at Audubon is that they are all so close. Transferring from 9th grade with Ms. Gidjunis to 10th grade with Ms. Wood is not a drastic change. Not only are their rooms across the hallway, but our English teachers are beyond welcoming and match their teaching styles to best help their students acclimate. They communicate with each other, friend wise, but also work wise, which not only creates a welcoming atmosphere in the hallways in the mornings before homeroom, but benefits the students’ education as well. Despite the few minor challenges, the English department at Audubon is not only incredibly welcoming and kind, but they also excel in their teaching methods.

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I am a junior at AHS. This year I managed the boys varsity soccer team. I took journalism because I have always enjoyed writing. Even though I do not plan on doing anything with it in the future, writing The Parrot allows me to put out what I write and allows others to see it.

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