Jeffery Donaldson

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Jeffery Donaldson
Department English Language and Literature
House Liberal Arts
Joined 2018
Education Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Oral Roberts University
Why I teach My passion for teaching is deeply connected to helping students become better global citizens, equipped with the essential critical thinking tools needed to imagine and pursue their future with greater confidence.
About me My teaching career began in China in 1987. Three years later, at the American Academy in Istanbul, Turkey, I adopted my life’s motto: “I want to dance with the whole world!” Include everyone, exclude no one. I have been devoted to my partner in life for over 30 years, the last 20 of those in our little home on the river bend near downtown Tulsa.

Critical Reading

In Critical Reading, students study rhetoric (the art of persuasion). Students read material and identify how authors use rhetorical devices to move readers to think, feel, and act in certain ways. Students analyze literary devices in short stories, novels, and works of poetry and non-fiction. Students use their knowledge of literary and rhetorical devices to persuade readers as they craft their own original works of both creative and analytical writing. The course includes discussion, student-led research, and student presentations.

Career & College House

English Lit 10

In English Literature, students read contemporary and classic works of fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction to identify the elements of Literature. Lectures and student research help students read texts in historical context. Throughout the course, students participate in and lead discussions, conduct original research, and develop both analytical and creative writing projects.

Career & College House

Finding a Voice of Our Own

Focusing on the literature of E.M. Forster, Virginia Woolfe, and the storied members of the Bloomsbury Group, students will explore how a small, eclectic group of writers and thinkers discovered their voices. Students will choose one of the members of the loosely knit group to research and give voice to in a dynamic, multimedia presentation.

Narratives in Fantasy Fiction

In this elective students will focus on the writings and conversations of “The Inklings”: C.S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, et. al. Students will also practice writing/sharing their own works (in the spirit of The Inklings).

Seeking Shakespeare

Who was William Shakespeare and why aren’t the questions of authorship more widely known and discussed? After looking at recent research and scholarship on the playwright, students will watch several comedies, tragedies, and a couple of the history plays—all attributed to William Shakespeare, the man from Stratford Upon Avon.

The Voices of Harlem

In this elective, students will explore how a group of Black writers and thinkers give birth to a renaissance. Students will choose one of the members of the group to research and give voice to in a dynamic, multimedia presentation.

Courses offered previously

Experience Learning

Exploring Oklahoma, Missouri, and Cahokia, Illinois to encounter up close lessons in history, literature, and culture. This TSAS elective immerses students in off-site field trip adventures!

Students will gain enriched insights exploring destinations in the tri-state area after reading and researching several topics: Native Mounds Culture, Jazz Culture/Harlem Renaissance, and the pioneers who explored regions west of the Mississippi River after the Louisiana Purchase. In the classroom, students will prepare by reading Native American stories passed down through oral tradition as well as literary classics by Langston Hughes, Mark Twain, and Kate Chopin. We will begin exploring with a daytrip to the Spiro Mounds, and the course will culminate with an excursion along I-44/Route 66 to St. Louis and Hannibal, MO, and Cahokia, IL. From St. Louis we will make day trips to Hannibal, home of Mark Twain, and Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site.

This elective is for 10th through 12th grade; it requires student planning and initiative! It may require a fundraising drive, but the following costs will be covered for every student in good standing: travel, museum admissions, breakfast/dinner, lodging. Planned trips are part of the course and are mandatory. Treat the travel dates as sacred to successfully complete this course. (Parent chaperones are welcome but must cover their costs.)

Exploring Oklahoma

Exploring the land that would become the 46th state, students will visit capitals, grasslands, sacred grounds, and ghost towns on day trips throughout Oklahoma. In class, we will identify destinations worthy of exploration and make plans to visit them. We will read works by Oklahoma poets past/present and songwriters with distinct Okie voices. Guided by the cultural heritage of the five civilized tribes of Oklahoma, we will examine the cross-cultural bridges that unite the people who call this state their home. Finally, the elective will invite students to experience an off-grid weekend. Camping out under the stars (with the goal of leaving no carbon footprint) students will better appreciate their state and what it means to be a responsible 21st century resident.

Hospitality & Tourism

Explore real-world employment opportunities in the Hospitality Industry, where meetings and events factor into the success of virtually every market segment: corporate, association, education, fraternal, and more. We will examine entry level positions and upward climbing potential within hotel management, event venue operations, sales, and catering. We will meet professionals working in sound and light production. We will visit various venues and meet and listen to guest speakers with an array of professionals meeting planning expertise, perhaps even attend a catered event or see back-of-house operations. We will also explore how tour operators, travel agencies, destination management companies, and chambers of commerce, add to the wealth of a city (and examine how city budgets depend on visitor tax dollars). We will look at entrepreneurial opportunities that were born out of this industry’s demand (i.e. Airbnb, hotel childcare, etc.) and consider how you can get your start.

Overseas Odyssey

(O-Squared) — preparation for travel abroad to become more aware of one's place in the world. The course curriculum will focus on The Netherlands as a Spring Break 2019 destination (with a day-trip to Bruges). Immersions in art, literature, culture, and history will inform class instruction. To prepare for bike-friendly explorations in Amsterdam, Harlem, De Hoge Veluwe, and Bruges, students will also develop biking skills. Participation in fundraising efforts will be expected. The goal is affordability for all interested 11th/12th graders who are in good academic standing to enjoy a 9-day epic journey abroad in March 2019.

Seeing & Hearing Shakespeare

This course begins by establishing an appreciation for the accomplishment of the work, its scope and successful treatment of the full range of human experience. We will debunk any myth about the authorship. Students will experience several of Shakespeare's plays with contextual awareness, all three play types: comedies, tragedies, and histories. Most of the course will involve recorded stage productions and film adaptations. We hope to see a live performance, and after each experience, students will reflect on the relevance of the story, the characters. The primary goal of experiencing "Shakespeare" in depth: to better understand the works as timeless and universal.

WORD Poetry Out Loud

  • Create original, spoken word pieces for performance.
  • Memorize classics for performance competition and scholarships.
  • Poem of the Day—Read and Discuss poems in various styles.
  • Write your own poems in journals for self-enrichment and performance
  • Select and Memorize great, classical poems for Out Loud Poetry



My Tarot Journey
Madeline Hinds '21

My Tarot Journey


Short Story Titled: "The Day of Departure"
Autumn Leathers '21

Short Story, Fantasy


Why Racial Atrocities Are Possible
Kate Stevens '20

Exposing the buried truths


Finding a Hobby: Earrings Edition
Morgan Wilson '20

Decided to try jewelry making.