07 February 2010

OLD BIO from PBWORKS Summer Camp


English teacher, St. Mark's High School
British literature, World Literature, Film Club.
Part-time college instructor.
Here is my home page and a "representative" group of my students. They named themselves "the Flash" after the comic book hero. The hero is one of the motifs we follow throughout the year in my British Lit classes, and they name themselves to help me keep my sanity. This college prep junior class all had learning differences and were assigned Macbooks--we had FUN.
"Healigan" is a meld of my maiden and married names, and I first used it years ago to provide a more secure environment for my class blog. The name stuck, and now my students use it as a "password" into my room (and my good graces). I am a ninja only in spirit.

BIO: I have been teaching high school for 3 years. Before that, I taught middle school English and social studies for a year, and before that, I taught for 10 years at various colleges in my area: composition 1 & 2, remedial reading and writing, technical communications, writing & lit for design majors, and other stuff too. I worked as a writing center coach as well. In my other life, I was a stay at home mom and writer with my three daughters, one of whom presented special challenges (still does at age 21, but I'm used to it now). Two of my daughters came to us by way of South Korea, which inspired my interest first in Asian lit and art, and now of world literatures. I am lucky enough to teach it now!! Before that, I worked as marketing communications specialist in industry, and a fundraiser in several hospitals and university settings. GOSH, I SOUND OLD!! But I am not singing the blues, like Sita here. (a shameless plug for a great movie I taught this year.)

LESLIE & TECH: I have been blogging with my students for three years, and have just completed my first year with a wiki. I LOVED IT! I teach Phase 3, 4, and 5 juniors and seniors (that translated to college prep, honors, and pre-AP). The juniors did alot of blogging about British Lit and practiced SAT writing. The seniors blogged and then began to use the wiki in January 2008. First, we did projects like scavenger hunts and poetry posts, to get them used to it. Then my Phase 5 seniors constructed individual pages for world poets--6 of them. They worked in small groups and rotated through the pages over a period of 8 days. Each student worked with each poet, and they all practiced specific skills. They were uncomfortable, which was great, because they are all "good" at school, and needed to start taking charge of learning, instead of just getting As. When they finished, I had the Phase 4 seniors use the pages that the others had created. They did scavenger hunts of each page, and then chose a poet to analyse. Their end project was an explication of their favorite poem by their favorite poet. They, also, had to reach a bit--choosing their own poems, searching the pages and the links, etc.