English Language Arts
As teachers of language, the English Department at Morristown High School strives to enable students to become skilled communicators, critical readers and writers, thoughtful viewers, and close listeners. Teachers encourage students to express themselves through a variety of communication modes, requiring them to work with increasingly complex structures and materials that can help them to develop their powers of synthesis and organization. The capacity to engage in creative and reflective thought is embedded within each learner as well as the belief that students of the 21st Century should be producers and critical consumers of information.
Teachers aspire to make the study of literature and language accessible to all students. By providing students with frames of reference – cultural, social, historical – teachers help students to develop an understanding of and appreciation for the various contexts that locate a text. As a function of diverse classrooms that value global, multicultural perspectives–a wide range of texts are available for close study and independent reading. Rudine Sims Bishop’s (1997) metaphor of literature serving as both mirror and window informs the selection of texts. Students also gain an understanding of the importance of literature and language to their everyday lives and find personal connections to the texts that enhance their understanding of themselves and the world.