Instructor’s Blog Posts

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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Literary Analysis is Not Just for Future English Majors

Every academic discipline has the inevitable, “Why do I need this?” topic.  For English classes, that topic is literary analysis.  It’s easy to dismiss the importance of literary analysis if you think you will never use it again outside of high school, but assuming...

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Mark It Up: Tools for Annotating

I grew up in an educational environment where writing in books was discouraged; thankfully, my parents had a different mindset and allowed me to annotate in my books from an early age.  I credit this practice for instilling a love for reading and a fascination for...

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Beyond the Paper: Why Creative Projects Are Enriching

As an English teacher, you will never hear me discredit the merit of writing a good analysis paper. There’s something magical about formulating a well-tuned claim and finding the precise evidence and wording to effectively articulate and support the claim. That being...

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Unlocking Poetry

If your student complains about studying poetry, rest assured that you are not alone! Of the various elements of literature that I teach, the one that undoubtedly is met with the most skepticism is poetry. I am never surprised, but I am always a little sad to see that...

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The Power of Point of View

If you write much at all, you’ve probably run into issues within your writing. Maybe you realize that a character isn’t coming across the way he/she needs to. Maybe you run into a snag in the plot. Maybe you simply don’t know where the story is going. There could be...

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The Importance of Studying Mythology

It is not uncommon for parents to be wary of teaching their children about ancient mythologies. Though it is important to guard our hearts and minds, learning about ancient civilizations is also important. This is exceptionally true of Greek mythology because the...

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Consider the Value of the Short Story!

Traditionally, short stories have gone overlooked. Short stories are often overlooked in favor of novels. Though longer works are certainly valuable, short stories should be recognized as an instrumental source of social and historical context, as well as literary...

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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.

THIS COURSE IS A HOME-RUN

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!
FROM A PARENT
2018-01-24T00:32:58+00:00
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! FROM A PARENT

THANK YOU FOR MAKING IT SO MUCH FUN

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!
FROM A PARENT
2018-01-24T00:30:53+00:00
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! FROM A PARENT

THIS IS THE BEST CLASS I HAVE EVER BEEN IN

This is the best class I've ever been in. It's so different.
FROM A STUDENT
2018-01-24T00:35:32+00:00
This is the best class I've ever been in. It's so different. FROM A STUDENT

YOU’VE DONE A LOT FOR MY WRITING SKILLS

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.
FROM A STUDENT
2018-01-24T00:34:08+00:00
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. FROM A STUDENT

YOU ARE AN AMAZING TEACHER

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!
FROM A STUDENT
2018-01-24T00:34:51+00:00
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! FROM A STUDENT

THANK YOU FOR YOUR ENCOURAGEMENT

[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.
FROM A PARENT
2018-01-24T00:32:08+00:00
[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. FROM A PARENT