Jess Woods

Instructor

Jess Woods graduated from Indiana University with a degree in English Education. Upon graduating she taught in a public high school for three years before deciding to stay home with her children.  Since 2013, she has been teaching middle school and high school English courses online.  Jess is a life-long reader and writer.  She comes alive in the company of words and music, and she has a passion for literature that reaches through every part of her being.  She believes wholeheartedly that each person has a relevant voice and perspective, and she eagerly teaches her students to embrace their individual voices by exploring their own thoughts and learning to confidently articulate them.  It is her desire to encourage growth in all students (regardless of their love for English courses…or lack thereof).  She considers it a tremendous success if she can awaken a love of literature and/or composition in her students. Jess grew up in Georgia, but she currently resides in upstate NY with her pastor-husband, Josh.  The couple has three children and two dogs.  While reading and writing are clearly on the top of her hobby list, Jess also enjoys all things musical, cooking competition shows, hiking, running, and traveling.

Blog Posts By Jess Woods

The Importance of Studying Shakespeare

It is a beautiful, wonderful thing that our literary canon is becoming more diverse and robust--that stories from all over are given voice and presence.  In such a rapidly changing literary world, I’m often asked why students should even bother studying classics like...

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The Merit of Your Library

In some of my high school level classes, I require the use of outside sources during paper composition, and students often seem baffled when I require at least one source to be a book source. They ask, “Can’t we just use the internet? Where will we find a book to...

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Longer Literary Works to Read Before High School Graduation

Reading is imperative! Joseph Addison, a 17th century English poet and playwright, said that, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” It is a truth that is universal, spanning time and space. Studying novels and longer pieces of work (like plays) is an...

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Love for Jess Woods

This is the best class I've ever been in. It's so different.

A Student 

Thank you so much for class! If I could send you a great big hug I would! It was an amazing experience: writing all sorts of different things is a skill I will never regret learning. You are an amazing teacher. I always enjoyed logging into class in the morning, and I loved everything about this class!

A Student 

I just wanted to thank you for being an awesome teacher over the composition year. Thanks to your help and my success at debate nationals, I’ve been offered some work writing cases and articles for debate sourcebooks this next year! This is extra special because typically they only offer this chance to really successful alumni and coaches, and I haven’t even graduated yet! You’ve done a lot for my writing skills, and it is much appreciated.

A Student 

American Lit at Excelsior is simply a must for high school students! The course features the best of the Am Lit classics:  a full palette of subject matter and historical eras, with exquisite authors like Poe, Hemingway, and Frost. Mrs. Woods is an experienced expert at leading her students into and through profound discussions about the literature, while also giving each individual student encouragement and feedback to improve analysis and core writing abilities. This course is a home-run and a beloved favorite of our homeschool family!

A Parent 

[Student] continues to thoroughly enjoy your class, and it has been fun for us to see her grow in confidence as she commits some very intense thoughts to paper. Thank you for your encouragement.

A Parent 

I'm writing to let you know how much my son is enjoying your class. Honestly, he's spending more time on it - because he likes it - than all his other subjects. Thank you for making it so much fun for him!

A Parent 

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