School District

Language Arts (English) Wrenshall Style

Welcome! I am excited for the upcoming school year, hoping we make the best of each day and every opportunity. 

Contact me via email or by phone at 218-384-4274, ext. 1310. The best time to call is during my prep hour: 8:20-9:15. 

One’s happiness or misery is [for the] most part of their own making. 
-John Locke, Some Thoughts Concerning Education, No. 1 

In my opinion, education must have a much higher purpose than merely instilling skills, however essential. A strong English curriculum will open students to ideas outside their daily, local experience. It will provide the skills, knowledge, and--most important--the imagination and empathy to live a meaningful life. 

Not a small task? You are right! However, without these higher objectives, an English curriculum would be mechanical, lifeless. Consider the words of American psychologist and education writer Jerome Bruner: 

"Education is risky, for it fuels the sense of possibility." 

As is often the case, we sorrowfully see the sense of wonder and curiosity dwindle in the high school student. The enthusiasm and creativity of the youngster gives way to the brooding and sullenness of the adolescent. However, the teen-age years can be the most formative in life; adult habits and expectations are developed that can last a lifetime and influence a life. 

The effort to hold up my actions and decisions in the classroom to this belief forms the foundation of my teaching philosophy. 

I invite you to explore this English website and contact me with ideas or questions. With a strong belief in the words of John Locke, I welcome you: 

"Curiosity in children … is but an appetite after knowledge." 
-Some Thoughts Concerning Education, No. 118 

Contact: Joel Swanson
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