Hello!  My name is....
Missy Sykes

Welcome to Advanced Placement Prep English 10


Melissa Sykes

[email protected]



Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year and to my class!  I am very excited about teaching you and look forward to a fun, challenging, and rewarding year.  I hope the following information will give you and your parents a better understanding of what we will be doing in AP Prep English 10 class this semester, as well as provide you with an outline of my expectations, policies, procedures, and class work.




To Be of Use

I love people who harness themselves,

An ox to a heavy cart,

Who pull like buffalo, with massive patience,

Who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward

Who do what has to be done, again and again.

--Marge Piercy


Who Belongs in this class?


AP Prep English 10 is for oxen and buffaloes, for students who have the stamina and patience to work and work and work.  AP Prep English 10 is a class for students who love to read and write, think deeply, and work with a community of learners to discover and uncover truths in literature, the world, and themselves.  It is for students who understand that daily attendance is obligatory, deadlines are deadlines, excuses are verboten, and hard work is rewarded (Fjetland and Vahle).



What will we do in this class?


We will be reading and responding to a great variety of literature.  We will read short stories, plays, poems, essays, and novels.  The majority of the class will be spent reading and discussing the different styles of literature.  The majority of our writing will be writing about and responding to literature.  Since we have the luxury of AP Composition 11 next semester, we will hone our literature based skills this semester.  So, get ready to read and read and read and read.


Class Materials:

  • Notebook:  Any kind or style
  • Pen or Pencil

While it may seem ridiculous that I would have to include a section that reminds students to bring the basic necessities of learning to the classroom EVERY DAY, one would be surprised how often students come to the classroom without these basic tools.  Parents, please ask your child periodically throughout the semester if he/she needs paper or pens for the class. 


Classroom Behavior:

  • Be in the classroom in a timely manner and remain seated until the bell rings dismissing you from my class.  DO NOT arrive tardy for my class.  Please take care of all personal matters before you enter my classroom.  Also, remain seated throughout the class unless instructed otherwise.  Do not congregate around the door before the bell rings.  I know you may want to make a hasty exit from my class, but I don’t allow herding at the door!
  • Follow all rules as outlined in your student handbook.  Notable offenses include hats and cell phones. 
  • Don’t speak when someone else is speaking.  Be courteous.  We will have stimulating conversations and discussions in this class; however, let’s keep our debates sincere and polite.



  • Absences should be avoided as much as possible.  Statistics show that students who miss school generally have substantially lower grades than students of the same intelligence who do not miss school.  Of course, if you have an excused absence, you can make up the work, but most students who have missed school get overwhelmed by the volume of make-up work and fall behind. 
  • Each student will be assigned a class helper.  We will be exchanging phone numbers.  If you miss the class, first check with your class helper about the missed work.  If you check out of school before my class, you ARE RESPONSIBLE for the missed work.  Come by my room before you leave.


Make-up Work Policy

  • Make-up work is your responsibility.  When you return after being absent, you need to see me to arrange your make-up work immediately and to pick up any handouts you may have missed.  Check the student handbook for additional information regarding make-up work.


Late Work Policy

  • I have a very strict policy regarding late work.  As a teacher, if I assign work, I expect the work to be ready when I ask for it.  If the work is not ready, the grade will be cut by 20 points for every day the assignment is late.  DEADLINES ARE NOT MADE TO BE BROKEN. 



  • You will read in this class every night.  The students must be responsible and allocate enough personal time at night to the completion of the nightly reading assignment.  While we all live very busy lives and I am aware of that point, this is indeed an Advanced Placement course and you must perform above and beyond the standard English 10 classroom to be included in this course.  Ninety minutes in the classroom isn’t enough time to read, respond, and engage fully with the texts we will read.  Therefore, be forewarned that you will read a great deal outside of the classroom.  Reading should be considered a great joy and not a chore.  Hopefully, upon the conclusion of this class, you will enjoy reading!  We will react to literature in a number of creative ways.


Class Participation

  • I expect students to fully participate in the class and in class discussions.  A general positive attitude and good behavior are necessary components for success in the AP classroom.  While we may all have our bad days, if one is involved in the class by regularly attending the class and duly completing homework assignments, one may not only survive AP Prep English 10, one may actually thrive and enjoy the class!




  • Finally, the big question is:  How can I pass this class?  The majority of your grade comes from the daily work we do.  Therefore, if you regularly complete all assignments in a timely manner, the odds are definitely in your favor that you will pass the class.  The only thing I have ever asked from students is that they give me CONSISTENT EFFORT.  My job as your teacher is to help you improve your current abilities.  Whether that improvement is from a B to an A or a D to a B, I want to see improvement.  That effort must come from you.  Grading and scoring are only means we measure your effort and your commitment to improvement.
  • The grading scale is as follows:

Tests and quizzes:  40%

Vocabulary work:   10%

Writing and Creative assignments:    30%

Homework and Daily Work:  10%


I hope that if you ever have any questions or concerns, you will feel free to approach me, either in person or in writing, and that goes for both parents and students! I know that all of this information can be overwhelming, but don’t worry!  Follow my rules; ask questions when you need help; be honest, respectful, and hard-working; and we will have a great year!!


Melissa Sykes

[email protected]