Paul Donahue, 8th grade. ELA

paul donahue 
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7th and 8th Grade English Teacher
Years of teaching experience: 9 years
College of study: U.C. Davis
Hobbies/interests outside of school: Hiking, bicycling, reading
Educational philosophy:
Education is the foundation of our children's futures. Skills such as reading as well as the ability to think critically and communicate effectively have always been hugely important components of success whatever the prevailing technology has been. I believe that this will always be the case. I try to educate my students in the language skills that will make success attainable, and the thinking skills that will allow them to make wise and compassionate decisions in life.

Some of things the kids will learn this year:
* Grammar, spelling, punctuation

*Writing effective, well reasoned and descriptive essays

* Analyzing fiction in terms of character, theme, and plot elements

* Analyzing non-fiction in terms of treatment of information, organization, adequacy of evidence, and treatment of a subject between different sources

Other aspects of Mr.Donahue's class include:

• Intensive writing-responses to literature stories. Autobiographical essays, persuasive essays, research reports, etc.
• Literary analysis-Analyzing plot, theme, literary devices, mood, characterization, etc.
• Analyzing of non fiction- reading for information, text organizers, cause and effect, etc.
• Language conventions - putting an emphasis on spelling, parts of speech, etc.

What is unique or interesting about the class?
The class really emphasizes the universality of the human experience. The writings in the text are also experiences by writers and co-writers of diverse backgrounds.


I have worked in the classroom, in some form or another for almost 20 years now. I became fascinated by the way children acquired a second language when I worked as an Assistant English teacher in a small city in Japan called Tottori. I learned how the Japanese value the classroom community, how the school is in many ways an extension of the family, and how learning is best when the overall well-being of the students is considered first. I began my career in Redwood City in a school that served many recent immigrants from Mexico and Central America, and my experience there reinforced what I learned in Japan. I joined Community Outreach Academy in 2004, and have privileged to have taught so many fine students and worked with so many amazing parents.