Mr. Russell's Magical world of humanities

Room 509 john_russell@yarmouthschools.org

I will be the gladdest thing

Under the sun!

I will touch a hundred flowers

And not pick one.

-Edna St. Vincent Millay

Greetings!

Mr. Russell here. Welcome to my digital home and, if you are connected to one of the classes I teach (or to my advisory group), one of your new favorite websites! Through this site, you can access Google Classroom and much of the information you need to be successful in my classroom. Bookmark away!

As you may be aware, humanities is a term used to refer to those disciplines which focus on human society and culture. As I am teaching both social studies (9th Grade World History) and ELA (10th Grade English), YHS has dubbed me a humanities teacher.

Excelsior.

Schedule

BLUE DAYS

1 - Advisory (Room 606)2B - Freshman Team Planning (Room 102/110)3 - CP World History (Room 505)4B - Prep (Room 509)5B - Honors Sophomore English (Room 503)

WHITE DAYS

1 - Advisory (Room 606)2W- Honors World History (Room 508)3 - CP World History (Room 505)4W - Honors Sophomore English (Room 502)5W - Honors World History (Room 609)

More about Mr. Russell

Although my parents moved around a lot throughout the Great State of Maine when I was young, I am chiefly a product of Yarmouth Schools (and proud of it!). I became a teacher because of the great teachers I had in this very school district. They helped me comprehend, interpret, and leverage the wealth of knowledge our world has to offer, and it is my passion to help students do the same.

After graduating from YHS, I got my BA from Oberlin College in Ohio, double majoring in Comparative Literature and Creative Writing with a minor in French. From there, I joined the Peace Corps. They sent me to Mongolia, where I taught English for two years and had a host of other amazing experiences, including meeting and marrying my wonderful wife, Kaede "Ed" Johnson.

After we returned from Mongolia, we launched my teaching career in earnest (M.A.T. from Marian University), started a family (Ronan came in 2014 and Magnolia followed the next year), and moved around way too much (California → Indiana → Pennsylvania → Northern Maine). I am happy to be bringing my family home after all these years and cannot wait for all the adventures Yarmouth High School has in store.

Embarrassing Kaede for one of the first times. I've since gone pro. (Bayandelger, Mongolia, 2010)
Having just schlepped the kids up Mount Battie. (Camden, Maine, 2017)

My priorities

As a teacher, there are many different skills, capabilities, and qualities which I strive to cultivate in my students, but almost everything boils down to two things:

  • READ - Research increasingly shows that the number one corollary with success in college and career is reading ability. In fact, there is evidence that college and even high school diplomas may be merely incidental to this sort of success. That is, good readers tend to get the jobs they want and make a comfortable wage regardless of their education level! This is borne out in the life stories of such seminal figures as Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Mark Twain, and Eleanor Roosevelt, all of whom reached the pinnacles of their respective vocations without the benefit of formal education. What was the secret to their success? They were all voracious readers.
Four of my favorite readers. Come see their portraits in my office.
  • COMMUNICATE - They say the meek will inherit the earth, but it has been my experience that little is more important to successful personal and professional relationships than regular, timely, forthright, proactive communication. I would much rather a student give me a call or shoot me an email to ask for help or to explain an extenuating circumstance than for that student to give up and show up to class unprepared. I try to assume the best and give my students the benefit of the doubt, but there are countless teachers, professors, bosses, and colleagues (not to mention friends, family members, and significant others) who may not do the same. Thus, it is best to cultivate this habit as early as possible!