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Crystal Hodgens » Ms. Hodgens: A History

Ms. Hodgens: A History

The 2016/2017 school year will mark my seventeenth in the classroom.

I have spent the majority of my career at Sparkman High, where I have taught juniors for sixteen years.

While in my second year of teaching at SHS, I began teaching a Classical Literature elective that has since evolved into Myths, Monsters & Shakespeare. This elective allows college-bound students to read and discuss literature that has been left on the back-burner to make room for two years of American literature. We read Bulfinch's Mythology, several Greek drama's such as 'Oedipus Rex' and 'Medea'; the Roman comedy 'The Frogs'; Shakespeare poetry and two comedies. I recommend ALL college-bound SHS students to take this elective.

This will be my eighth year teaching AP Language & Comp. During the summer "break" I work with several endeavors to strengthen my craft as a teacher. After sixteen years in the classroom, I feel it is more important than ever to work on my professional development.
 
First, I am a certified NMSI trainer, working with teachers throughout the state to train them on LTF/NMSI strategies. The most important element of this training is the collaboration time given to teachers, which encourages them to take these strategies back to their own classrooms.

Second, I was fortunate enough to be invited back to the reading of College Board AP Language essays. This is a seven-day endeavor of reading and scoring essays written by students from around the country for the exam. This year I read the synthesis prompt. I have read rhetorical analysis and argument in previous years. I have now read all three parts of the essay writing, and it gives me a stronger perspective as an AP Lang teacher for what patterns I have seen from students across the country. This is the best professional development an AP teacher can participate in to help him/her become stronger at what students are reading and writing.
 
Finally, I collaborate with teachers from all corners of the country on a weekly basis, and specifically Washington state, Utah, Kansas, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and Maryland on an almost daily basis. We work on lesson ideas, professional development readings, etc. I am currently in the process of working with teachers from Utah and Nevada on presenting how to build a professional network via social media at the NCTE convention in November 2016.

I look forward to using my new knowledge to enhance what I am doing in my classroom and to continue to grow in my profession.

Before becoming a teacher, I worked in the hotel business, following in my mom's footsteps. I began working at the front desk of the Tudor Hotel, located in South Miami Beach, and when I returned to Huntsville to begin college, I worked for Holiday
Inn. I first worked at the front desk and then moved into the sales office where I was a sales coordinator, responsible for writing contracts, organizing meetings, wedding receptions, etc. I loved every moment of it; however, my heart was set on teaching.

I have lived in several places in the South, including New Orleans and South Beach, and I love to travel and experience new cultures.

When I am not in the classroom or drowning in a sea of papers, I enjoy reading, exercising, and napping.

I have a little man entering middle school this year and five fur babies, so there is never a dull moment in my house.
 
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Name
Crystal Hodgens
Position
Library Media Specialist
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