How to Get an ‘A’ in My Class

By Mr. Donnelly


Everyone starts the class with a ‘C’ – you determine whether your grade goes up, down, or stays where it began. Your grade in this class basically depends on two things – writing and student teaching. I also allow extra credit work if it is prearranged with me. If your grade is on the borderline (69, 79, 89, etc.), quality class participation will put me in a generous mood when it comes to your final quarterly grade.




Writing matters. It shows you (and me) that you’ve understood what you’ve read and heard. There’s such a thing as bad writing, but there’s also such a thing as good writing. Try for the latter. You’ll be much happier at the end of the quarter.


At the end of most weeks, I will pass out a question to be answered. These questions will be deliberately open-ended so that you have the freedom to answer them as you see fit. After you answer them, turn them in on Monday for grading. (Why Monday? Because most other teachers give quizzes, tests, etc. on Fridays.)




Student Teaching


You will have at least one opportunity to teach the class and dazzle us all with your skills. Your task is to discover what topic most interests you, and then prepare a 50-minute class about that topic. Your class shouldn’t be a rehash of what you’ve already learned about the topic, but should involve new research on your part. Use the Web, the library, etc. Above all, be informative and creative.


I want this class to be enjoyable for everyone. If you show up, do the work, participate in class discussions, and smile, you can’t go wrong.