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Exciting Creative Writing Classes Starting For Middle And High School Students!

Class Overview:
This semester, I am excited to offer a virtual Creative Writing class for homeschooled middle and high schoolers. The goal of this class is to get students excited about writing creative narratives. To this end, each week, students will be asked to write a creative assignment, inspired by a prompt relevant to that week’s class discussion. If their imaginations take them in an unexpected direction though, our group will be happy to welcome surprises as well! These stories will be shared and discussed with our group. In my past classes, this engenders true enthusiasm and improvement in budding writers: hearing their peers’ efforts often inspired new story concepts and receiving constructive critiques undoubtedly made their own writing technique better. I will also personally read each finished piece and return it to them with encouragement and suggestions for improvement.
One of the most wonderful parts about this class structure is that I can meet each student individually where they are—no matter what level of writing ability or enthusiasm they possess. If a student is already an accomplished and passionate writer, this class provides a wonderful forum for them to finesse their practice of the art of writing, helped along by my suggestions and commentary from their peers, and also gives them access to a community of writers their own age. If a student is less than enthralled by the idea of writing, this class is flexible enough to allow them to try writing stories about things that they love. I have found that this student-centric approach often convinces even the most reluctant to get excited about writing—an outlook that inevitably leads to improvement in their writing skill.
In an effort to further improve the mechanics of their writing, my class also includes a variety of grammar games, editing exercises and even a vocabulary competition in which competitors will vie for vocab victory! These are always a lot of fun—the competition was especially intense for last year’s Wacky Word title—but these games also help students to improve their written diction and syntax. In my experience, this combination of great discussions, thought-provoking stories and goofy games is a winning combination to get students excited about writing. I truly cannot wait to have a fabulous time discussing and creating literature with all of your writers-in-training!


Class Details:

When:
Mondays from 12:45 – 2:00.

Dates:
February 15th, 22nd, 29th; March 7th, 14th, 21st; April 4th, 11th,
18th, 25th; and May 2nd, 9th, 16th.

Where:
I will be conducting the class via Google Hangouts; I have used this platform in the past and it tends to work very well. In order to participate, students need access to a computer with an internet connection and a Gmail address.

Who:
I am hoping to teach a group of students who are roughly 6th through
10th grade.
Cost:
The class costs $221 ($17 per session). Payment should be mailed to
Caley at 11 Westfield Road West Hartford CT 06119. I am only accepting a
limited number of students because I believe that students derive far greater benefits from the close community that results from small class sizes. In order to secure your child’s spot, please send in a non-refundable $71 registration fee by February 1st. The remainder of $150 should be paid prior to the first class. If it is more convenient for you, please feel free to send the entirety of your class fee by February 1st.

Teacher Bio:
Caley Henderson is a former homeschooler who is currently a sophomore at Middlebury College, where she is studying Chinese, International Studies and Education. She is in the process of proposing a self-designed independent scholar major in Education and was recently recognized as a college scholar (honor roll equivalent). At the close of this semester, she was elected as the Middlebury Debate Society’s president and has won several speaking awards in her time at college, including Novice Champion at Dartmouth. She was also selected as a judge the World’s University Debating Championships in Thessaloniki Greece from which she has just returned. Additionally, Caley was chosen to be a member of HOPE (Helping Overcome Poverty’s Effects—an established Addison County non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of low-income people by connecting them with resources they need) and works with the HOPE Board to oversee that organization’s operations and to design future policy. This past summer, Caley interned at the Connecticut State Department of Education and also developed and taught a debate curriculum at the Legacy Foundation of Hartford’s summer program for underserved students living in the Hartford area. She has also worked as a Program Assistant for the past four years at the Westfield Academy of Debate, Model United Nations and Leadership Summer Program. She has also helped develop curriculum for Westfield. After graduating from the Kingswood Oxford School in 2013, she took a gap year during which she taught debate, art, literature and creative writing classes to homeschooled students and traveled abroad. She has taught ten previous courses for homeschoolers including a very well-received virtual creative writing class last spring. While at high school, she won numerous academic accolades, including National Merit Finalist, the Dux Prize for two years (the highest academic average of her grade), induction into the *** Laude Honor Society for High Schoolers, the Chinese Language and Culture Prize, the Stewart Prize for Best Debater, the Goodman Banks Prize for Excellence in English and more. As a senior, Caley also received a commendation for her twenty-seven page senior thesis at KO, one of only two commendations awarded, and she received a perfect score on the verbal section of her SATs. Caley has worked as a camp counselor and currently tutors kids of all ages. Outside of school, Caley has always loved debating (she competed in Australia as part of the US team at the Worlds Debating Competition), dancing (she was a champion Irish dancer and is currently teaching a workshop at Middlebury), making art, hiking, reading and especially writing. She was nominated for the First Year Paul W. Ward Prize in Writing at Middlebury, which recognizes an outstanding paper written by a Freshmen student. Caley genuinely loves teaching writing and is very excited to read the wonderful works that you will all create. She hopes to share her passion for writing with each of you!

If interested, please contact Caley at cahenderson@middlebury.edu or call at (860) 913 – 1446. We only have a limited number of spaces available, so please reply soon!

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