Maria Rendon, a teacher at Anson Jones middle school, explains her passion for teaching English Language Arts (ELA) in traditional public schools to Social Media Marketing students at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA).

Note about this video interview and feature: UTSA students teamed up with the Go Public initiative as part of their course curriculum. Elda Flores, Karla Pekar, Kaycie Requejo, Brian Menard and Jared Ruiz (who is also an employee at Anson Jones in Northside Independent Schools) created meaningful content in the form of a video interview video as part of their final assignment. This is part of a program where students get to work with real-world organizations.

English Language Arts (ELA) in Traditional Public Schools

In elementary school, historically referred to as “grammar school”, students are trained in English Language Arts classes (ELA) to sustain reading for longer periods and a focus on writing, syntax, thematic writing, and vocabulary are a part of their lessons. Through these exercises, children are expected to develop reading and writing skills at an early age.

In middle school, the curriculum expands to increase in complexity reading comprehension. This is achieved through fiction, poetry, and essays. Students begin to foster writing skills that encompass poetry, expository writing, and creative writing that expand their vocabularies and writing variety.

High school students are expected to develop analytical skills. Lessons generally revolve around reading novels, essays, and other forms of literature that require students to compare, contrast, and discuss elements, like the theme, characters, and plot.

English is also a crucial component of college preparation, getting students ready for the extensive research and analytical skills they will be expected to utilize throughout their college studies and professional careers.