Teacher makes English interesting
Sherri Hudson was surprised when Centre High School’s class of 2019 chose her as their commencement speaker, but class president Xavier Espinoza said their decision reflected the help the English teacher has been to her students.
“She always added to our conversations no matter what we talked about,” he said. “We sometimes got off track, but she joined in the conversation.”
Hudson came to Centre from the Houston, Texas, area two years ago. She taught English as a second language and worked with students from a variety of backgrounds.
She said her experience has shown her that there are many ways students learn, requiring any good teacher to be flexible.
“They use a lot of different ways to show what they know,” she said.
She does many things in the classroom to engage students emphasizing teamwork and the many ways that students can learn from each other.
Hudson loves books and knows how to guide students through them to keep their interest.
This past year, they read classics like “Red Badge of Courage” and studied an Agatha Christie murder mystery.
Students are always encouraged to do new things.
She tries to make her test review sessions interesting, even using games to refresh her students’ memories.
The freshman class had a dodge ball game to review for a test.
They went to the gym, and two leaders were selected. Each leader had to answer a question correctly to choose a member for their team. As each member answered questions correctly, he or she received a ball. At the end of the review session, the students had a ball competing with each other on the court.
In another instance, a student brought a board game that he had created for everyone to play as a tool for test preparation.
Hudson said she gauges her students’ moods as they come to the classroom.
One sunny day, when she sensed her students were feeling melancholy, they took their books outside and read on the lawn.
Another time, a student brought rabbits to class.
Each student kept a journal in which to write important facts to refer to as needed.
Hudson teaches grammar by giving students writing assignments and then having them edit their own work.
“Spell check is going to be there, so I teach context, what makes sense and what doesn’t,” Hudson said. “If it’s not practical, they can’t do it.”
Seating arrangements are changed often.
“I have a routine and I have high expectations, but I’m flexible,” Hudson said.
“I love that every day I get a fresh start with the kids as to how I interact with them and how they interact with me.”
Last modified Aug. 1, 2019