A role reversal is coming to the high-school English department: teachers Jane Bauman, Brooke Wells and Patricia Fels will be swapping classes next year.
Bauman will teach juniors (non-AP English), Wells will teach freshmen and Fels will teach sophomores (and continue with junior AP English).
All seniors will remain under the instruction of teacher Ron Bell.
The decision was made “primarily to change things around,” Wells said.
“I like ‘The Odyssey,’ but (after 10 years) I want to do something else.”
Wells plans on focusing the first semester on “the teenager in modern literature” using very recent novels (the oldest is from 1999) and the second semester on drama and comedy.
“I’ve read more teenage angst books in the past two months than most people should read in their whole lifetimes,” he said.
Fels taught sophomore English roughly 20 years ago and looks forward to returning to her old curriculum centered around studying the Bible from a literary standpoint.
“It’s really important to understand biblical allusions, and many of my AP students don’t,” she said.
In addition to regular reading, she will be using the textbook “The Bible As/In Literature,” which contains short stories, plays and poems with biblical allusions.
And she will take over Wells’s role coordinating the sophomore project.
Bauman will not be changing the curriculum much—she taught regular junior along with Bell until this year.
While she taught only nonfiction before (and Bell taught fiction), she will be covering both aspects next year.
Bauman said she is looking forward to the change of pace from teaching freshmen and “the connection between English III and college counselling.”
All of the planned curricula are still subject to change, although the teaching switches are almost definite, according to Sue Nellis, head of high school.
“I think it’s exciting, and (the decision) came from the teachers themselves,” she said. “(Rotating) is always a healthy thing to do.”