Beauchamp’s “Short Stories” Class for Seniors


Andrea Montenegro Polanco, WSJ Staff Writer

Beauchamp’s “Short Stories” Class for Seniors

English teacher Bryan Beauchamp explains the content and difficulty of his new class.

English teacher Bryan Beauchamp is working to provide his students with an alternative to what younger generations may consider an old, boring Literature class.  Beauchamp’s goal: make English more interesting through modern storytelling. His class titled “Short Stories,” will be available to seniors and provide the 4th year of English credit required to graduate. 

“Please people, take my Short Stories class. You won’t regret it.””

— Bryan Beauchamp

Instead of reading British texts dating back centuries, students in this class are able to analyze short stories (15-20 pages) that are primarily from the 20th century and delve into topics like racism, classims, and tense relationships. 

“These are stories that will touch and open students’ minds and hearts,” Beauchamp explained. 

Students will read a wide array of perspectives from White, Black, Asian, Indian, and South American authors. Additionally, the voices include a mix of male and female writers. This class, in its essence, is meant to give students a look into the human experience. 

“Literature, whether it was written last week or centuries ago, encapsulates what it is to be human,” Beauchamp said. 

Beauchamp, who has been teaching English at the Bluff for 23 years, has always enjoyed British Literature. However, he admits that teaching it can be like forcing teenagers to watch black-and-white movies. 

“It is quite good stuff, but I get that historical, one might even say old, stuff written by people long dead, isn’t of interest to young people,” he said. 

With this concept in mind, Beauchamp created “Short Stories” a few years ago to capture the interest of his students. Though successful in the past, enrollment in the course was low this year and Beauchamp was unable to continue teaching it. 

“If you must take a senior English class anyway, why not give this a shot?” he asked. 

Though this class is not grade-weighted, Beauchamp explained that “Short Stories” will certainly not be a “blow-off” class. Seniors taking the course will be required to write an original short story and analysis paper every six weeks. However, these grades are largely based on effort and he considers tests and essays to be “doable” if students are paying attention. 

“I think it is a very fun class,” he said. “Challenging to the mind, but enriching.”

This class can not be taken by multi-disciplinary students to substitute an English IV class. However, it can be taken for one semester as an elective credit. 

Beauchamp, when asked about what he would want to say to prospective students, said this:

“Please people, take my Short Stories class. You won’t regret it.”