Class Expectations, etc. 

I know that you have sat through many speeches with teacher expectations-I’ve seen students’ eyes rolling during my own presentations.  So, I am going to keep this to the point!

Here are my pet peeves and you can infer my expectations from these:)  Note:  Although these sound harsh, I am really a NICE person.

  1. People who interrupt others who are speaking; it’s rude and no one can hear and learn if people are interrupting one another.
  2. Liars!  I am compassionate and caring so don’t lie and say that you have turned in an essay or couldn’t do your homework because of an emergency!  These are major NO-NO’s!
  3. Cheaters!  You can’t learn if you are copying or plagiarizing!
  4. Students who don’t pull their weight… I am the teacher– not Santa!  Don’t expect a grade present from me.  Studying, reading, writing, and participating are all part of your job in my classroom.
  5. Having to repeat myself– You are 9th graders and most of you have 10 years of school experience.  Listen and follow directions the first time.  I will be glad to answer questions or explain something a second time if you have listened.  I am a patient person, really!
  6. Students who think that I am their secretary, personal assistant, or maid.  I don’t keep up with your supplies.  It’s not my responsibility to remind you to make up the quiz that you missed while you were absent.  You will have homework, etc. posted on the front whiteboard, the Remind app, etc.  Also, I am not responsible for printing out your papers, etc.  Please do not email me work unless you will be absent for an extended period.  Finally, I did not go into teaching to clean the graffitti off of your desk or pick up your trash:(
  7. Lateness— when the bell rings, I am ready to teach and you should be ready to learn!  I should not have to wait for you to get in your seat, get out your materials, etc.
  8. Being more concerned about one’s appearance than academics!  Our classroom is a work environment; it is not the bathroom so don’t do your hair, put on lotion, etc.  Murray’s Beauty Parlor went out of business (bad economy)– you’ll have to find a new salon!
  9. While we’re on the subject of appearance– remember that this is a school.  Keep various body parts covered.  I don’t plan to spend our class time policing students’ cleavage, legs, midrifts, or bottoms.  Also, don’t forget to wear regular clothes and shoes– no pajama bottoms or bedroom shoes.
  10. Oh, I can’t forget to talk about the ubiquitous (yes, that’s a word) iPods and cell phones.  Please turn them off and keep them out of my sight.  I will confiscate them.  If you have an emergency and need to text your mom/dad, see me.  We’ll work out something. We will use electronic devices for instructional purposes, but please wait for me to ask that you get out your phone, etc.  Please keep in mind that school is a public place, and unattended items may be stolen.  Do not leave your device on your desk or in your bookbag when you leave the area.  I have never had any device stolen from my classroom, but I realize that it is a possibility.  (FYI– the locker room is the worst place to leave your device.  Make sure that you lock your item and do not give your combination to anyone.)
  11. And finally— food and beverages.  We all get hungry, so I understand.  If you have a snack, I won’t say anything if you consume it discreetly (meaning, I don’t see, hear, or smell it).  You may also sip water (but don’t expect unlimited bathroom passes).  This is a generous policy; please don’t abuse it.  I don’t want to see food being passed around, you coming in with your Hardees’ breakfast bag, etc.  Also, I don’t want my room stinking from Doritos (Yuk).

Class Rules

1. Be in your assigned seat, quiet, and ready to work when the bell rings.

2. No talking during presentations by the teacher or fellow students.

3. No rude remarks, gestures, or put downs.

4. Keep hands, feet, books, and other objects to yourself.  No throwing!

5. Bring your materials to class everyday.

6. Follow all teacher rules/directions (oral or written) the first time given.

7. You may drink bottled water but snacks are restricted.  I must not be able to see, hear, or smell any food item.

8. Follow school rules for electronics.  In our classroom, electronics may be used only by teacher permission.

9. Wait for the teacher to dismiss the class.  Do not leave your seat upon the ringing of the bell.  Be respectful and wait for my dismissal.


Grading Scale











B 3.0
80-92 B-






C 2.0




67-69 D+



D 1.0
60-62 D-


Below 60



As a core subject, English averages for the 9 weeks term are calculated as follows:

Tests/Major Projects (including essays)       40%

Quizzes/ Short Term Projects      30%

Class Work (daily work)     20%

Homework (including reading quizzes)    10%

Remember that Honors English 9 is a weighted class (+0.5%). 


To receive full credit, ALL written work must adhere to the following requirements.  These are NOT optional. 

I will deduct points or not accept the work if it does not adhere to these requirements.

You will not get extra time to correct your errors!  I will deduct the points or enter a zero (0) for the work if you submit a paper in violation of these requirements.  Please see the requirements for specific penalties.


1.  You must write in pencil or black ink.  I will not accept work in any other colors.

2. All work must be neat.

      A. Ripped, torn, or crumpled papers will not be accepted. 

      B.  Work that includes extraneous drawings, doodles, marks, etc. will not be accepted.

      C. Papers which include the ragged edges from being ripped out of a notebook will not be accepted.

3. You must keep a 1 inch margin.  This means that on a sheet of notebook paper, you are not allowed to write in the margins and you must not write below the bottom line.  If there is no line, you do not write there!  I will deduct 10 points. 

4.  All work must be submitted on a standard-sized white sheet of paper with the work beginning on the front side.  I will not accept it otherwise.

5.  All essays must be written in MLA format.  I will only accept work that meets these standards:

      A. It is double-spaced with a one-inch margin.

      B.  It has the proper endorsement (your name, my name, course, date in international format).

      C.  It is left-aligned with an even margin.

6. For all work that is not written in MLA format, you are to write your name in the upper right hand corner and add the date.  Please also add a title.  I will deduct 5 points for missing names.  


Materials for Honors English 9 

1. 3-Ring Binder or folder with college ruled paper  (Any size binder is fine– a 1 inch should be sufficient. You will need some means to separate the sections. Colored paper or folded pieces of paper work as well as store bought dividers,)

2. Black ink pens (No other color is acceptable in Room 208.)

3. Pencils (You may write in pencil for any assignment EXCEPT a final draft of an essay.)

4. 1  Dry erase marker  (for use with the individual whiteboards provided in class– I will collect these and keep for our use.)

5. Plastic folder to house your research paper and articles


Honors English 9 students may read these novels: The PearlLord of the Flies,  A Separate Peace, The Joy Luck Club.  A personal copy of each may be desired. Please do not purchase anything until I assign the novel. I will give you ample notice to purchase the novel well in advance of the reading.

You can anticipate several mini-projects throughout the year, so general art supplies such as colored pencils will be helpful. I will give you advance notice if posterboard or other items are needed.


Appreciated Items:

I would greatly appreciate a box of tissues, Magic Markers, or glue sticks.

Parents, your child will do well in English 9 if YOU do the following:

Sign up for Home Access Center and log in to check your child’s grades at least once a week. As soon as I have an assignment graded, I enter the results so you can see how your child is progressing.

Please sign up for our Remind feed. I will send home directions. Through the app or email feed, I will inform the students and you of homework, upcoming tests, etc.  frequently to check on what your child is supposed to be doing for class. Please expect homework for EVERY class. (Please note that I am now using Remind in place of this blog.)

If you have a child who struggles with homework or classwork, I strongly suggest YOU take the initiative to email me weekly to check in. I do not mind at all and this will help you keep your child on track. This strategy of constant communication made all the difference for my 9th graders in previous years. Frequently, I am able to respond the same day that you email so you will get the fastest response by emailing and not calling the school. Email works the best for me because I have to log on to the computer to take attendance every class period. If the students are working on their warm-up activities, I will have time to check my email then.

Also, don’t forget that high school students still need to have homework checked and vocabulary words reviewed by you. Your child needs to know that you have your thumb on him or her every day!

I also recommend that you have a calendar in a prominent place (the fridge works in my house) and post the dates for interims and report cards. Interims go home for parent signature.

Please also give me your cell phone number and email address so that I can contact you when I am able. When your child is absent, please make sure that ALL work gets made up. School, regardless of what your child may think, does NOT stop while he or she is out! The child is responsible for all work (i.e., I will not drop an assignment because he or she was absent.).

Parents, I hope that we have a great year! Welcome to NRHS and please know that I will take great care of your child!


Does Mrs. Murray understand issues that arise that prevent me from having my homework?

Sometimes– it depends on what your excuse is. For example, if you were unable to complete an assignment because your print cartridge ran out the night before the assignment is due, just have your parents write me a note BUT don’t make a habit of offering excuses. If you didn’t do your homework because you were watching the Super Bowl, don’t bother to offer me an excuse– unacceptable:)

When you are overwhelmed with work–if you are HONEST with me and let me know beforehand, I will try to work with you. I know that teachers tend to assign major assignments about the same time of the 9 weeks, so if you talk to me about your schedule when I go over the assignment, I will often try to accommodate you.

I can’t stand a liar, so don’t dig yourself a hole by offering an excuse and having me find out from your parents that “No, Junior was not in the emergency room last night until 3 a.m.”

Can missing work be turned in late?

Late homework will NOT be accepted. Homework from absent students should be submitted upon return to class. I will NOT ask for the late homework; it is the student’s responsibility to hand it directly to me– not place it on my desk, etc.

Please note that the Google Classroom discussion topics can NOT be submitted late. I will give several days to complete each assignment, but once the assignment is closed. students will NOT be able to access the topic. If a student is ill during the time of the assignment, I ask that he or she see me upon return to school to arrange completion on paper.

Late penalties for essays and projects will be announced. Usually, late essays will be penalized 15 points per school day late. I will announce in advance the penalty for the late work.

Student essays that are written at home will be peer reviewed in class and students will be given a grade for the peer review. A student who chooses NOT to have his or her work will be given a zero (0) for the peer review.

It is the STUDENT’S RESPONSIBILITY to remember to get work in. Do not expect for me to remind you!

Does Mrs. Murray offer late homework passes?

No, I don’t offer homework passes. There will be opportunities to EARN homework passes.  I will explain this in class.

What about when I am absent from school?

The student handbook indicates that a student who is absent has FIVE school days to complete missed work ASSIGNED DURING THE STUDENT’S ABSENCE.

If a student is absent on the day an assignment is due, the assignment MUST be turned in by the following class period. In this case, the five day grace
period does NOT apply!!

Parents are also encouraged to sign up for Parent Connection in order to view their child’s grades online. Visit the SPS website for more information about this option. Students and parents should feel free to email me whenever you have a question.

When do I make up my work?

Students must see me to schedule a time to make up missed quizzes and tests. I will try to get as much as possible made up during class time.

No, I do not allow retakes. You should put forth your best effort at all times.

Can I retake quizzes or tests?

No, I fully believe that you should be prepared and try your hardest every day. Please come to tutoring before you have a problem with an assessment.  I will, however, adhere to the accommodations for students with Individualized Education Plans.

Is extra credit available?

Once again, you should do your best and not have to rely on extra credit; however, occasionally I will offer an extra credit opportunity. Please check this blog frequently for extra credit options. Any “presents” that I offer will be publicized here.


I am available after school by appointment. Students must check with me IN ADVANCE of staying back to make sure I am available.

PLEASE NOTE: Students are not to remain in the building after school in an unsupervised situation as this will result in disciplinary action by the administration.

In previous years, I have been very flexible about staying after school for tutoring, but I am unsure about what I am going to be able to offer this year.

Because of the change in school hours, I will have to leave by 3:40 on most days to pick my 5th grader up from her school. We also have regular appointments after school.

I expect that I will make arrangements to tutor at least one afternoon a week. Usually we have a tutoring bus available two afternoons a week. When I learn whether that will be an option, I will establish a schedule and alert parents via email and the blog.

I do know that I will be arriving at school early each day, so if you need a few minutes of help, please feel free to schedule some time in the morning.

I plan to take care of most of the make up work during regular class time. I was able to do that last year for everyone except students who had extended or repeated absences.




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