Rules in Class

Mass Comm
Mr. Shear
(919) 560-3912 extension 12752
Room 216

Always check the blog for information about the class:

Materials Required: Everyday, students are required to bring their current assignment, pens, pencils, and a two inch, three ring binder with lined 8 ½ x 11 notebook paper. I want students to be prepared to take notes.

Classroom Procedures:
Please, I don’t want to see your cell phone. If I do, I will ask you to hand it over, and I will return cells after class. Sorry. Respect me; I respect you. You can’t eat or chew gum in my class if you do not use the trash. Books and school property are precious in Durham Schools, and if they are damaged, I will write you up. Please raise your hands to make a comment. Please use proper manners: “Please” are “thank you” count toward your final grade, as well as your success in life. I do not respond to calling out. Respect me; I respect you.

1. Students are to enter the classroom quietly and immediately go to their desk and be seated. Please, prepare for a warm-up discussion, which will be on the board or on the computer projector, in clear sight. If not, wait for me to begin.
2. Students not in their seat when I bring the class to order will be warned and then marked tardy. That may mean a lunch detention with me, if  put on notice. There is to be ino touching in class. Keep your hands to yourself. If you need to sleep, there’s a cot in the main office.
3. Any student tardy more than three times gets a warning. Next Move is a call to caregivers.
4. Once students have finished their work, they will sit quietly until I begin another activity.
5. Students are not permitted out of their desks at anytime unless they have been given permission.
6. Have a drink of water before you come to class, please. Use the bathroom, too.
5.  Hall passes will be given in emergency situations.

Grading System:

Tests, quizzes, papers, reviews, camera work, edits, distribution, keeping deadlines, etc. all count. A quiz could be as important as a test, depending on the circumstance. Every day you appear in this class counts toward your report grade. Often times, there is no right answer to questions in Mass Comm, only a strong, well defended argument. Mass Comm is the art of information and persuasion.
Make-Up Policy: You can make up work anytime, but I’m busy. It’s your responsibility to remind me to mark the work and to record the grade. If there’s no grade recorded, I will assume you never handed in the work. Each day you miss a deadline, you sacrifice five points. If you are absent, and you can remember the date, I will check the attendance page, and then either give you a make-up (no points off), or an exemption.


2 Responses

  1. Mr. Shear, you said that we should ook at the site and check for something you were supposed to post. Yet it hasn’t been updated since May 20, 2009….What’s the deal?

    • The instructions you ask about and which were intentionally not posted were my way of evaluating who in the class was paying attention, and who in the class cared. As it turns out, only one person checked for this information. That was you. What I said was, and I said this two times, on two consecutive days, “I will provide you with background, which will appear on the web site, information that you will need for the final test.” Or words to that effect. Of course, no one, with the exception of yourself, bothered to check the site, or to raise the question: Please, Mr. Shear, where is the information about the exam you promised on the web site? The lack of attention to my instructions tells me a great deal about the class in general: it gives me information about who is listening to my talks, about who cares about our studies, and about who actually knows how to reach the web site, a subject I have stressed all semester. However, as I explained yesterday, the test will be limited (which, incidentally is the actual reason I didn’t post to the site). You’ll recall that I explained to the class — and took some time about it — that the test will be on the final unit we studied concerning the “literature of film,” which focused on American (social commentary) films of the 20th century, with particular regard to the evolution of the American hero. I instructed the class, yesterday, that even if they failed to watch a film because they were absent, they would still be able to take the test; they merely had to look up the individual film on Wikipedia and read about it, augmenting their studies with the use of an additional site or two, many of which can be found on the right-hand column of Wordpixel. This is the other reason for not posting the promised background to our website: there was no need. Why be redundant about my instructions (twice in class and again on the web site), when no one was paying attention, particularly when students failed to simply check the site in the first place? What is more, the “Rules of the Class” are quite clear: you’re supposed to have notebooks, and I expect you to take notes. Perhaps I should collect student notes taken during class; I can then use those notes for grading. What would you advise? Care to volunteer your notes?

      Finally, a personal suggestion. I expect you will have a bright future. When you are in college and later when you begin your career, you might consider a little etiquette when writing emails to persons in authority. Or in any communication, for that matter. Sentences such as the one you used to conclude your note to me — “What’s the deal?” — are unacceptable ways to address adults, even after you reach adulthood. What you might have said, out of mere respect for an accomplished elder, let alone your teacher, was something more on the order of: “Could you PLEASE explain why this information is not available? Could there have been some error?” I am not your peer.

      Mr. Shear

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