Lighthouse Initiative for Texas Classrooms

Dear Reader

When I arrived at my first AP* Summer Institute in 1996, I never thought the content the lead consultant offered over those five days would renew how I teach English. Now, after taking several Summer Institutes, teaching Pre-AP* and AP English classes for another ten years, and becoming an endorsed College Board consultant myself, I get the chance to enact a dream: to spend lots of time with English teachers and help them renew their teaching. The feeling of satisfaction we experience while teaching our students is only surpassed by the reward of being able to offer one another instruction through mentoring, teaming, conferences, and publications like these. Working with the members of the revision committee for the Lighthouse Initiative for English/Language Arts Classrooms has been such an experience.

This guide can do so much more than provide you with a day or two’s worth of activities for your students. It provides answers to the questions many teachers struggle with every day: How do I prepare my students for AP when I have to prepare for TAKS? How do I ensure my supervisors know that what goes on in my classroom is designed to teach the skills measured on the test? How do my students know that what I am teaching them will help them perform well, not only on exams, but also as they read and write for business, for college, and for pleasure?

As you read and consider the entire guide, you will see how what you do each day sculpts tomorrow’s AP English student. It may also help you craft a new vision for your English/Language Arts or Reading course.

The following people—long-time friends and colleagues of the revision committee members—compiled the first edition of this document in 2001, and without their original vision, this revised Lighthouse project would guide no pedagogical ships.

  • Ronda Brandon, Advanced Placement Strategies, Inc., Dallas, TX
  • Rosa Fonseca, Franklin High School, El Paso, TX
  • Sharon Kingston, Coronado High School, Lubbock, TX
  • Doris R. Sanders, Advanced Placement Strategies, Inc., Dallas, TX
  • Becky Talk, Advanced Placement Strategies, Inc., Dallas, TX
  • Kelly Tumy, North Shore Senior High School, Houston, TX
  • Karen Werkenthin, Round Rock High School, Round Rock, TX
  • Lynne Hagar Weber, St. Mark’s School of Texas, Dallas, TX

Further thanks go to the following people: Tolly Patterson Salz of the Episcopal School of Dallas, who contributed the introduction to the revised guide; Tracy Laughlin of Resources for Learning, LLC, who helped coordinate the revision project; Tom Lewis of Whitewater High School in Fayetteville, Georgia; Dr. Cathleen Hannigan, independent scholar; Skip Moran of Highland Park Middle School in Dallas; Claire Mrozek of the Episcopal School of Dallas; Dr. David Southward of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; and Bob Wofford of Las Cruces High School in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Jim Lindsay
Revision Committee Chairperson
Episcopal School of Dallas

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