Welcome to My 2019-2020 Junior English, Mythology and Professional Communications Website
Name: Mr. Mike McDanielAbout Me: I'm a US Air Force veteran and also spent nearly two decades in police work, serving as a patrol officer, shift supervisor, division commander, detective, field training officer, juvenile officer and SWAT officer. My undergraduate degree is in English and music, and I have most of the credits necessary for a master's degree in English. I'm a certified firearms instructor and have been a public school teacher for 22+ years, not including three years teaching college English. This my 18th year at JHS. I'm a professional blogger and published author, a playwright, musician, composer, arranger, director, guitarist and bassist. I'm also a professional singer and am the Board President and men's section leader of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Master Chorale, and sing professionally for St. John's Anglican Church (in Ft. Worth). I also enjoy writing, bicycling, shooting, European fencing, Kendo and Iaido (Japanese fencing and sword drawing), working with wood, and reading just for fun. I'm married (for 40 years) and have a cat named Mushi (short for "Mushin," which means "empty mind" in Japanese). She allows us to live in her house as long as we appropriately and lavishly pamper her.
Please keep in mind that these lesson plans/assignments are tentative. I will have to make changes each week. All assignments for each week are posted on a blackboard in the classroom on the first day of each class week and updated as necessary. Because frequent changes are necessary, I'll post lesson plans only one or two weeks in advance. Lesson plans for each upcoming week will be available by Thursday or Friday at the latest (but are usually available on Wednesday). Please check back from time to time as I add changes as they become necessary. If you have questions, let me know.Class Supply List: Each student will maintain a portfolio in the classroom (all the materials for this will be supplied) that will contain all of their work for the semester/year. Bring a black ("black" being the complete absence of any color but black) pen, a pencil, and lined writing paper to class every day. No spiral notebook paper with "fringed" edges is acceptable.
Class Rules and Procedures: BE KIND, POLITE, THOUGHTFUL AND HELPFUL. BE IN THE INSTANT (concentrate and pay attention). LIVE HONORABLY. PAY ATTENTION TO DETAIL, and READ, READ, READ!
GRADING PROCEDURES: Each student will receive their current grade average (as of the previous Friday), on a small stick-on note, on the first class day of each week. They'll be able to tell you their average every Monday evening, and of course, with Skyward access you can check on their assignments and grades at any time. The stick on note will also tell them how many assignments, eligible for full credit, they may still have out (usually due to an excused absence). It's very simple: Good work always equals good grades; poor work earns poor grades. No work equals 0. Behavioral issues have no bearing on grades. Extra credit options will be available every week, but there will be no "if I don't get extra credit I'll fail/I can't play football/etc." assignments. In this class, extra credit provides additional opportunities for growth and learning, it does not substitute for work students choose not to do in the first place. For more involved, formal writings (generally typed essays or similar assignments), students will be able to redo the writings for additional credit. So if a student received 78% on their first draft, they would be able to redo it to receive a higher grade.ALL WORK HANDED IN IS RETURNED--GRADED--THE FOLLOWING DAY (sometimes, the same day)I UPDATE GRADES IN THE COMPUTER
GRADEBOOK FOR EACH CLASS DAILY.
SOFTWARE ACCESS UPDATE: Our Skyward software that allows parents internet access to their student's grades, attendance, schedules and more is online. To sign up for this access, parents/guardians must come to JHS with photo ID to prove their identity and establish a username and password (Federal and State privacy laws, you know). At JHS, speak with Mrs. Morton in the Registrar's office (south side) at the main building entrance. Students in my classes will continue to receive their updated average each Monday.All assignments are given in advance and there will always be more than enough time to complete any assignment. Remember that all assignments are posted in the classroom and I remind students--daily--of upcoming assignments. If you believe you deserve a higher grade on any assignment, prepare a good case for your point of view and we'll chat. "I really meant to do it," is not a good case.
Handouts Online: I've attached handouts for major assignments, such as research papers, on this website under "ESSENTIAL HANDOUTS AND ASSIGNMENTS." You can open or download those handouts. Due to server limitations, I cannot post every assignment handout. Those are available in the classroom.To avoid failing in any of my classes, all a student need do is: (1) Do the work; (2) Make an honest attempt to do it well; (3) Hand it all in on time. If this is done, it is virtually mathematically impossible to fail. A failing grade is 69% or less. In all of my years teaching, I have never had a student fail because they could not do the work. They fail because they don't do the work. I will be well organized and prepared every day. I will regularly remind and encourage every student to do their work, but at some point, it falls to them to actually accomplish it.
General Grade Breakdown: Daily work--34%; Tests--33%; Special Projects--33%. Understanding this is very important, particularly at the beginning of every grading period. When we have recorded only three grades, for example, each one is worth proportionately more than when we have recorded 20 grades. Therefore, failing to hand in an assignment at the beginning of a grading period will generally have a more immediate and drastic effect on a student's average than failing to hand it in at the end of a grading period. It is not unusual for a student's average to go up and down a bit, particularly at the beginning of a grading period from day to day, particularly if they don't hand work in, or hand it in late.
LATE WORK: Late work may not be rewritten for additional credit. Work that is one day late is eligible for only 75% for a perfect paper. Work that is two days late is eligible for only 50% for a perfect paper. Work that is three or more days late will not be accepted for credit (this is JHS policy). There may be exceptions to this policy, but no one should count on receiving one.