Our schools should reflect our society, by being democratic and diverse in all aspects. Within my classroom I hope to embody these ideals. 
    While literature is realistically only a small portion of the English education experience, I believe it is an integral one. I plan to break away from the cannon and in to the sphere of world literature whenever it is possible to do so.  Through literature we have the opportunity to explore and experience different cultures, perspectives, and beliefs which fosters an understanding of global issues and events. 
    While I believe literature prepares our students to be well-rounded, democratic, and productive members of society, it is equally important to teach them to write in a manner that allows them to succeed. Success is a term that changes in definition from student to student. However, giving all of my students the basic tools of reading and writing will allow them a better chance at success, in whichever field they choose. I believe that if a teacher focuses on developing reading skills, that writing skills generally follow.
    A good writer is someone that utilizes their vocabulary, writes with a purpose, edits carefully, and appeals to their audience. By reading a diverse range of literature, through the process of inquiry students will begin to detect these elements in good writing all on their own. On the part of the teacher careful analysis of individual student need, meaningful feedback, and diverse instruction will aid the process of writing development.
    Creating a classroom environment that is conducive to generating good writing is essential. There should be a sense of community developed through the sharing of work and positive feedback from peers.
    As an English educator I strongly believe that we have a responsibility to prepare our students for life outside of academia. Reading and writing are skills that many people take for granted and yet are surprisingly absent in the culture as a whole. I plan to create a classroom environment that caters to the individual and promotes the use of creative and personal/cultural input. Each student brings their own unique perspective to the classroom and it is our duty to ensure that they have a place to express that perspective and share it with their peers.
    My name is Shawn Pinney and this long-winded introduction was my philosophy on education. 
    Teacher: Shawn Pinney
    School:       Stockbridge Valley Central School
    Grade(s):   9th and 10th Grade English
    Location:    Room 204
    Phone       (315) 495-1930
    Email:         spinney@stockbridgevalley.org