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Susan Spivey Reviews

L.T.  (Parent British Literature) – April 17, 2020

Use Susan Spivey’s class as the “model” or “ideal” for other classes!! She has found that sweet spot — challenging and yet not overwhelming so that students have time to think through ideas, work on skills, etc. I can’t reiterate enough how amazing (and rare!) this balance is. She also provides great feedback on writing. When a student does not correct areas of weakness on the next paper(s), it is easy to give up pointing them out, but Ms Spivey perseveres and always points out those weaknesses specifically; so that it is “wearing down” my son to the point he starts making the changes! 🙂 It is so hard and yet absolutely necessary to get good feedback on writing. The pace and content of the class was excellent — not too much and not too little. Often classes have “too much” content so the student does not have the time to ponder the material, dig deep, and let it change them. Other classes cover too little and therefore are of little value. I can’t say enough good things.

Anonymous (Student in British Literature) – April 23, 2020

Overall, I feel that the course was well-rounded. The workload was balanced, and the assignments were all enjoyable.

Debra (Parent British Literature) January

This course is thorough, engaging and provides a reasonable balance to the school week.  The British Literature book is full of interesting pieces of work that I never would have considered introducing my child to. I am very happy that he has had the opportunity to study this aspect of literature. The weekly critical thinking exercises encourage students to analyze what they are reading and help to solidify this ability through repetition. There are several creative literary projects throughout the year which add a fun element to the course. Mrs. Spivey’s class lectures are thorough, engaging and she keeps the course interesting. I highly recommend Mrs. Spivey’s British Literature course.

Blair Drewell (Parent British Literature) 

We were so pleased with British Literature with Mrs. Spivey when our daughter took it 4 years ago, we signed our son up for it. This class is the perfect balance – exposing the students to literature, making them think and engage without overloading them and taking all the joy of literature and learning away. Our kids have taken many online classes and
it is hard to find that balance… most are either are “too easy” and the kids are not challenged to think or “too difficult” through workload making the kids resent school. Mrs. Spivey‘s class is neither of these, and we are so thankful.

Rachel S.(Student British Literature) 

British Literature has been a great class! Not only did I get to read many great pieces of British literature, I also learned a lot about the history of Western Europe. Mrs. Spivey has a very engaging teaching style; she does not only lecture, but also asks the students questions and invites discussion. In addition, she also explains literary interpretations of the pieces we discuss, clarifying their meaning.

A specific example of a subject Mrs. Spivey enlightened me on was English metaphysical poetry. When I first read the poetry and prose of John Donne, Ben Jonson, and the other metaphysical poets, I did not contemplate the meaning behind the verses enough to realize the special characteristics of metaphysical poetry. However, after attending class, I understood metaphysical poetry far better, and even enjoyed rereading the poems!

Not all of learning with Mrs. Spivey has been strictly academic. One of my favorite experiences in her class has been the creative project, in which I illustrated characters from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. While imagining them engaging in lively conversation as I read the book was entertaining, drawing them brought them to life in a way that I could not have done by reading.

While usually the reading assignment is in the book, Mrs. Spivey also assigns books, plays, and online resources to read on occasion. In her class, I’ve had the opportunity to read many classics like the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Pride and Prejudice, Shakespeare, and Auguries of Innocence. Taking Mrs. Spivey’s British Literature class has taught me a lot, and surprised me sometimes with the prevalence of British literature references – ranging from ubiquitous Shakespeare to lesser-known authors like Elizabeth Barrett Browning – in everyday life. Whether reading newspapers or consuming pop culture, British literature is everywhere. I am very glad I chose to take this class and definitely feel like it has made me much more knowledgeable about British literature!

J. M. (Parent) 

Susan Spivey does an excellent job of instilling the love of learning and literature into her students. I have had two children participate in her English/Literature classes, and even though they enjoyed reading before, Susan was able to unlock areas of interpretation that allowed them both to understand more fully what the authors are attempting to convey. Her writing assignments challenged them to think deeply and put into their own words portions of specific text. Susan also challenges her students by assigning projects that may not be in their particular strength. For example: Not only do the students write, but some assignments may require them to perform a dramatization or an art project. She realizes that not all the students have the same strengths, but she motivates them to branch out and try something new. Susan also wants each of her students to succeed and encourages them to use whatever gifts or abilities they have to do their best. Thank you, Susan, for using Literature to help my children to mature and flourish.

J. S. (Student) 

Mrs. Spivey’s literature class challenged and equipped me for college in a way few other high school experiences did. The class, which I took at a homeschool co-op during my senior year, surveyed great Christian literature with a diverse and challenging reading list. Our class meetings were a chance for Mrs. Spivey to push her students to think critically about the material we read; she encouraged us to reevaluate our presuppositions and validated our thoughtful opinions, even when she didn’t share them. This open discussion stood in contrast to many high school classes that shielded authors from critique. Mrs. Spivey’s approach to in-class discussion helped prepare me for college literature and writing classes, where criticism of an author and their worldview is encouraged. Her love of literature was apparent in everything she did; from her enthusiasm in class to her warm invitations to continue discussions and reading outside of it, Mrs. Spivey was a hugely influential teacher who was instrumental in my decision to pursue English and writing as a part of my college and career.

Nina (Student) 

I was enrolled in AIM Academy classes in 8th and 9th grade, and my experience was absolutely phenomenal. I believe that great class material and teaching are crucial, but that the teachers themselves are most important. Personally, I am a social butterfly, and having a teacher who is friendly and interested in their students’ lives is a huge factor for me. It helps me to stay interested in doing well in the class if the teacher cares. AIM Academy definitely provided this for me. Every teacher I had was extremely helpful and friendly, as well as highly knowledgeable in their subject. It was also very nice to have teachers supporting Christian values and worldview, especially when it comes to science.

In 2016/17, I took Mrs. Spivey’s British Literature course. This class is also up there on my list of favorites. I simply adored the class content and reading material, and it brought me such joy to work on creative projects that allowed me to use my artistic skills. Mrs. Spivey helped me to expand and develop my writing skills, and she gave me some great feedback. Mrs. Spivey was also extremely sweet and loved to get to know her students. She encouraged me in my love of theatre and was genuinely interested in my artistic endeavors. Her bubbly personality matched mine, and I had a great experience.

Overall, I cannot think of a single negative aspect in my time at AIM, and I am so thankful that I could be a part of it. I am also so thankful for my amazing teachers who truly shaped my life and taught me so much.

E. C. (Student American Literature) 

I enjoyed reading many different kinds of writing from a wide array of authors and eras. I also enjoyed class discussion. Mrs. Spivey always made class time interesting and informative by providing direction where needed but also opening up time for discussion of our own perspectives and interpretations, allowing us to grow further.

Mrs. Spivey is very passionate about what she teaches, which makes this course very fun. She asks engaging question and encourages the class to be readers that meditate on the works they read and analyze the contents. Mrs. Spivey is open to new perspectives form her students and never ignores or discounts a persons thoughts.

This course taught me how to analyze a work of literature and form an extensive understanding of it. This course also gave many opportunities for practice of creating well-developed and detailed papers about a piece of literature.

G. Beaumont (Student) 

(Mrs. Spivey) has a vast knowledge of writing, is extremely friendly and kind, and super understanding. Not many teachers WANT their students to learn, they just want them to pass and be done with. I know she genuinely cared about how I did.

E.D. (Student British Literature) 

I took Mrs. Spivey’s 2017-2018 British Literature class, and I absolutely loved it! I have always been a lover of literature, but this class taught me so much more about poetry and novels. We read books from Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and, my personal favorite, Charles Dickens. We also had many exciting activities in this class. Over the year, we had two creative projects to complete. For my first project, I made my own Queen Elizabeth costume and recited the speech she gave before defeating the Spanish Armada, which was one of the pieces we read in the first semester. I had so much fun creating this project, and in every other part of this class. Mrs. Spivey is an amazing teacher, and she brings the literature we read to life. British Literature was my favorite class this year!

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