Degrees and Certifications:
Welcome to Discovery ELA and Language Arts! I am very excited about working with all of you this school year. My name is Phil Vergon and I teach Discovery Common Core for EL students and Language Arts for all three grade levels. I began teaching high school English in 2002 and moved on to middle school in 2006, and since then I have worked with middle school students. I earned my bachelor's degree and teacher's credential from San Francisco State University, and a Masters in Education from Graceland University. My wife, daughter, and I moved to Murrieta in 2016 after living in the San Francisco Bay Area for nearly 25 years, making me a pretty big San Francisco Giants and Las Vegas Raiders fan. I find peace in woodworking, painting, writing, music, and gardening.
While I have been described as a fun, passionate, and engaging teacher, I also have high expectations. As long as you are willing to work hard, take responsibility for your own actions, practice safety, and be respectful of yourself, other students, and adults around campus--everyone will feel successful and it will be a terrific school year.
In this class, you will practice a deeper critical thinking approach to reading, vocabulary, writing, and language. You will read and annotate informational articles and analyze texts for a central idea based on textual evidence of non-fiction and fiction. Readings will include classic/contemporary pieces that represent diverse perspectives. We will read short stories, poetry, and nonfiction articles found StudySync as well as other articles from Newsela. Concurrent with our in-class readings, students must also have an independent reading book for Intervention/Enrichment class. Developing literacy skills, meaning reading a wide variety of texts from informational articles to poetry, is super important to developing into self-actualized human beings. Students should be engaged in reading for at least 20 minutes per day.
Besides responding to text questions, creating questions, and writing reflectively, students will also continue to write arguments, arguments that must be supported with evidence from primary and secondary sources. In middle school, there is a strong emphasis on supporting claims. Whether spoken verbally or written, when making a claim, a good detective must provide evidence in order to make an arrest. A prosecuting attorney must provide ample evidence in order to convince a jury. And a congressman must present enough evidence to persuade the cabinet to vote in favor of her bill. To help develop this skill, you will work with your peers in pairs, in small groups, and during whole-class discussions.
My goal is to get students thinking and writing critically about our readings while making personal connections to their lives and to their perception of the world as it unfolds before them every day.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ( Please allow 48 hours response time.)
Phone: 951-294-6600 X 3705 (Email is the best way to contact me. Please allow 48 hours response time.)
Degrees and Certifications:
Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature and minor in Philosophy and Religion from San Francisco State University
Masters of Arts in Education from Graceland University
Single Subject Credential in English from San Francisco State University