Verity Olliff

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) Portfolio

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The Verities of Verity

I am a lifelong learner who educationally has remained closed to home. I attended Lorne St Elementary and was then accepted to the Magnet program so I went to Nobel Middle followed by Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies. Continuing my education in the San Fernando Valley, I enrolled and graduated Cum Laude from California State University Northridge with a Bachlor's in English and my single subject English Califonia Teaching Credential. For my teaching credential program, I was part of the ACT cohort which was located at Poly High in Sun Valley. Although I student taught at the rival high school, San Fernando High. I also received the Califonia Governor's Grant and began working in Oxnard, CA in the Oxnard Union High School District, at Rio Mesa High School and briefly at Pacifica High. I have taught in the private setting also as a tutor for students that are below grade level, for those that want to achieve better scores on the SAT and the ACT, and for those who are in rigorous private schools and need homework and project assistance. My educational philosophy is based on the principle that every student is capable of learning and being successful which is why I provide a rigorous program but supplement it with intensive help and tutoring. I like to balance my dedication to teaching with a love of people and traveling so I volunteer seventy hours a month teaching in the community and spend summers teaching in and visiting other countries (Haiti, Zimbabwe, Chile, Peru, and the Dominican Republic).  As they say "A photo is worth a thosand words," so watch the following slideshow.

Animal Lover

Rio Mesa High School 

This public high school has a unique urban/rural population. We are located on the Oxnard Plain so we experience the relatively cool weather of the coastal region but more sunshine. The students that attend the school come from two drastically different socioeconomic cities. The one being Camarillo (upper and middle class America with several small local agricultural properties surrounding blocks of suburban housing and also including several military families from one of the two bases in the area) and the other is North and East Oxnard (with many lower income immigrant and seasonal agricultural or factory workers with limited educational experience and English not primarily spoken). We are known in the area and the district as "that school" which is an unjustified marginalization. We have the second highest test scores and a strong, winning athletic tradition. We are also an International Baccalaureate school. These factors all combine to create a strong family feel that has been phrased succinctly as "once a Spartan, always a Spartan" which makes it "a place to learn, teach, and interact with mutual respect." 

Rio Mesa

My Courses

This year I am teaching four different courses all under the umbrella of English Language Arts. 


This is a two-hour block class to help newly immigrated students learn English and adjust to high school life. This course concentrates on the four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) with emphasis on the oral/aural development, acculturation, and self-esteem. The class focuses heavily on independent study through the use of technology so that students are able to progress at their personal language skill and effort level. The classes are very small so that I am able to give individual attention to each student and be sure that the information and material is being understood and applied so they can progress in English and their four other academic courses. 

This is an English preparatory class to help the students be prepared for the rigorous International Baccalaureate program for juniors and seniors on our campus. The course provides a survey of world literature emphasizing critical assessment of the material. Basic communication skills are reviewed through expository writing. The course further introduces the student to more highly developed study in the correct use of language and vocabulary. The course also includes core literature, intensive reading, library assignments, and a written midterm and final exam. The core literature of this class is a world literature survey that focuses on the individual and society. We discuss dystopia literature (Fahrenheit 451, "The Sound of Thunder", "Harrison Bergeron", "By the Waters of Babylon", and "The Pedestrian"), The Joy Luck Club, Julius Caesar, The Lord of the Flies, Antigone, Night and an ERWC unit) Each assignment and literary text read is supplemented with non-fiction articles that emphasize the relevance to the modern young reader. As the course finishes, students are required to use their knowledge and present a topic of research using available multimedia resources on a subject of inhumanity and justice that concerns them in their local community or the world community. 

A newly revived course on our campus to supplement the strong visual and performing arts courses previously available. These courses are designed for the beginning and advanced theater student. Acting technique including voice, body movement, character analysis, interpretation, stage arrangement as well as play writing is emphasized. Instruction in theater history from its roots to the contemporary theater is covered. Students perform in two large productions, one each semester.