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AP Language teacher examines how people read and write

By Vaibhav Gopal

Staff Writer 

Andrea Rivard teaches AP English Language at Summit Tahoma in San Jose.

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Tahoma English teacher Andrea Rivard

Every year, she rechecks her curriculum to make sure students achieve the grades they need to pass. This year, her class began by teaching students how to write an essay using rhetorical devices and by preparing the class for timed writes. Rivard is a mentor to students in the 11th grade, and she works to make her mentees happy. During Friday PLTs, she likes to interact with students and make funny jokes with them. During check-ins, she wants to make sure that students are having a good day at school.

  1. What are your mentor goals for this year?

“I hope to build a community for our group and acceptance for the group,” she said. “I want to make sure that my students stay on-track with everything. Also, I want students to have somebody to talk to.”

 2. How do the students in your mentor group react as a whole?

“I wish that my mentees would get along with each other all the time. I think that they tolerate each other most of the time. In my dream world, they would all be friends. That’s the goal I will work towards for during the end of senior year. I want everybody to be kind and take care of each other.”

3. Why is the mentor group laughing all the time?

“I mean, I tell jokes! Also our mentor group is split into a couple of different chunks of friends, so different groups of friends are laughing. Regardless, they are very chatty during 10-minute time.” 

 4. What strategies are you teaching as a teacher this year?

“I’m working to make sure that students are doing a lot of interaction with each other so we are going to try small-group discussions and small-group work,” Rivard said. “We will also be working on reading comprehension skills and strategies, especially reading the Gatsby book during our next project in AP English Language. In addition, I’m going to work with students on better selection of evidence.”

 5. What goals do you have as a teacher?

“As a teacher, I hope to create passionate, problem-solving, critical thinkers for the world. I want to make sure that every student has found a passion somewhere, which is something they love, and they know to work with people in that field and they know how to speak through the problems they solve. So that is why I became a teacher.”  

6. How are you liking your job as a teacher?

“I love my job!” she exclaimed. “I look forward to coming to school every single day! I love my mentor group and being able to see us and making sure that every student has a good day. I love coming to school and encouraging my students!”  

 7. What is the best part of being a teacher?

“Mentoring is the best part of teaching,” Rivard shared. “The reason why I like mentoring is because it is so challenging in the most exciting way to work with students individually and to be able to coach the students through really hard times. I like to celebrate with them when things are going well and be there when they have a hard time to cheer them up.”

 8. Why did you get interested in teaching?

Rivard explained, “I decided once I was in college that teaching is the right path for me because I would get to work with students in a way that I wouldn’t get in other jobs. In Summit, I get to work with the best people every day, and I get to make sure that students get something every day. I want to make sure that students are very successful and get into to a best-fit college.”


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