teacher focus

by | Jul 3, 2016

Charlene Engle, Senior Writing Director



I have been working with Christopher Hamilton since 2010, and it’s given me a chance to work with some of the best educators and most passionate speakers that I have ever seen. It has defined my teaching philosophy in ways that would have been impossible to even imagine, and motivated me to strive towards a mastery of my craft. 

Maybe, though, I should admit that I knew absolutely zero grammar before starting to teach the Writing section on the SAT, which extensively tests grammar proficiency. I knew the rules of grammar in the way an old sailor knew tomorrow’s weather. It was something sailors would try to feel in the air. But since I began studying for the SAT in 2008, I haven’t stopped. Now, I’m more like a meteorologist than a sailor. I can explain how hydrostatic pressure creates weather patterns, or how grammar increases the clarity of your sentences. And I believe everyone in this modern world should learn these things. No, not weather prediction. There are apps for that. I’m talking about talking. Words. Language. Communication. The things governed by grammar. I truly believe our students shouldn’t go out to sea without an understanding of how to predict the weather. 

I guess I’m trying to say that I really believe grammar is the North Star of communication. And you will need to communicate in every career path and social relationship. Every single one. It’s important. I can’t wait to teach my students how to communicate clearly, and to show them what our motto, “More Than A Score” means to me and how I teach Writing. 

-Charlene Engle, Senior Writing Director