Mr. Atkinson


Mr. Atkinson is a 1995 graduate of the University of Southern Indiana.  In 2014 he earned a Masters degree in Fine Arts from Goddard College.  His master's manuscript thesis was a collection of poems that examines both mundane and sublime aspects of life in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century.  Many of his poems were inspired by his twenty years of teaching and interactions with friends and family.  While several poems have been submitted for contests, none have yet been selected for publication.  He hopes to one day find a publisher willing to take a chance on a late-blooming middle-aged, mid-western teacher/poet.

Mr. Atkinson has spent his entire teaching career at Eastern Greene Schools and currently teaches world history & civilizations, U.S. Government, Dual Credit/Honors U.S. Government (Ivy Tech, Political Science 101) creative writing and sociology. 

In his free time, Mr. Atkinson enjoys boating, writing, and reading anything from modern poets to creative non-fiction.  His favorite authors include Tom Robbins, Brian Turner, Matthew Dickman, Andrea Gibson, Mary Roach, Hunter S. Thompson, David Sedaris, Henry Miller and Richard Rhodes. When he isn't teaching, you might find him roaming Bloomington book stores or frequenting any of his favorite B-town eateries.  He is known throughout the land as a prodigious feeder. 

If you would like to contact Mr. Atkinson by phone, he can be reached at (812) 825-5261, Extension 2205. You will find him most afternoons in room 205 on the second floor of the high school, just to the right at the top of the stairs. 

My contact E-mail:

Atkinson’s Classroom Expectations 2019-2020

Our Goal: The goal of this class is to help you develop skills necessary for success, both in and out of school.  You succeed by developing problem solving and critical thinking skills that allow you to think for yourself.  The first step in this process is developing respect for your school, community, classmates and instructors.


Respect: All successful human relationships depend on respect.  It is essential to keep an open mind in this room.  Respect the thoughts, ideas and boundaries of others even if they differ from your own.  Constructive disagreement allows us to view how other people see the world.  To create a classroom environment where this can occur, you are required to keep your hands to yourself & respect the personal space of others. We will often discuss ideas, concepts and traditions different from your own.  Disagreements will occur, but it is mandatory that we respectfully disagree.  Keep this in mind: THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK!


Daily Participation: Daily student participation is required and will be a part of your grade based on meeting the following expectations:


  • Be SITTING in your assigned desk BEFORE the tardy bell rings.
  • Bring ALL materials EVERY day (textbook, handbook, pencil or pen (blue/black ink ONLY!)
  • Take notes; notes help you process information, master skills and improve your grades.
  • Listen carefully and ask questions – I will do my best to help you find an answer!
  • Share your ideas, comments & thoughts before, during & after class.
  • Stay on task & complete assigned reading & work on time.Late work is not acceptable.
  • Avoid interrupting others who are speaking (classmates, guests, instructor) by raising your hand.
  • Use the student handbook and discretionary passes wisely.


Homework: Label ALL assignments, quizzes, tests & papers with your first & last name, date and class period at the top before you turn it in!  A calendar is always visible at the front of this room & I will gladly tell you the date.  I teach multiple classes & subjects, so it is essential you write this information on your work.  By next week, this procedure should be automatic.  Any work turned in without this information, will result in these point deductions: No Name = -10%, No Date = -10%, No Period = -10%.  If any of this information is missing it will result in a 30% deduction for that grade.  I will make every attempt to find out whose work it is. Many teachers toss unmarked work in the trash.  Unclaimed or unmarked papers are incompletes or 0% grades in Harmony. You are responsible for seeing me about missed or missing work, quizzes and tests. See me immediately after an absence!  Check Harmony regularly and talk to classmates about what you have missed and see me so you may use W.I.N. periods to get help or make up work.  Seniors, this is goes double for you!


Materials: Taking notes is part of class participation. You will need the following EVERY DAY:  textbook, pencil or pen (blue/black ink only!) and YOUR student handbook. Failure to bring these items may result in being marked tardy and will affect your class participation grade. You cannot take part in class without these!


School Rules: Your student handbook prohibits food, drink, gum, tobacco and vaping devices & cellphone use in classes. Cell phones should be off BEFORE you enter this room! I will confiscate phones otherwise. You will need to see Mr. Bruce to retrieve your phone at the end of the school day.  There is no reason your phone should be out in this room unless it is for a specified, school approved educational activity.  This rule is in effect even if I am out of the room or if a substitute teacher is in charge of class.


Grading: Grades are calculated by total points.  Most homework, quizzes & tests are worth 100 points unless otherwise noted in Harmony.  Some project assignments or class activities may be doubled since completion make take several classes to complete.  World History & U.S. Government Honors have research papers and long term research project presentations worth considerably more points.  World history students are required to present their long term research projects in front of the entire class BEFORE SPRING BREAK.  This means you will stand up & teach us; this educational method is sometimes referred to as “flipping the classroom” and presenting is required to get a grade! All classes will take end of semester final exams. Pre-tests & ost-tests as required for curriculum mapping & data collection purposes.


Take these rules home tonight.  A parent or guardian should READ, then PRINT and SIGN to confirm that they have had a chance to read my expectations.  Questions about class rules can be e-mailed or you may attach a note or call my classroom phone number (Ext. 2205) to speak with me.  Return this paper to me tomorrowTHIS IS YOUR FIRST CLASS PARTICIPATION GRADE!  Each day you are late returning this form or filling it out properly reduces your grade by 10%!  Correctly filling out this document and returning it the next day will result in a 100% on your first grade!  Be prepared for an exit ticket quiz (5-7 questions) on these rules Friday.


Independent Reading: Reading & literacy are emphasized in all of my classes.  EGHS has mandated, and Indiana RISE standards require that every teacher work toward increasing student reading comprehension. Students may bring outside reading selections of their choosing and may read whenever classwork is completed.  I do allow Nooks & Kindles (NOT phones) to utilize extra class time to help improve reading skills.  I have a classroom library that students are encouraged to use.  Students need only ask to borrow the material and return it when they are finished.  The best way to improve reading comprehension is to practice reading.  My classroom bookcases are packed with reading material and you are welcome to read and borrow them, but please speak with me before taking a book from my classroom.


Student Handbook:  Student handbook rules should be read by parents and students concerning school policies & discipline.  There are changes and additions from last year. Mr. Kirkendall & Mr. Bruce will provide students with an outline of these the first day of school.  Students are issued one handbook on the first day and students don’t leave my class unless they have their handbook.  Handbooks include planners to write down assignments, upcoming tests, quizzes & other school events.


As most of you know our major reconstruction project is finally finished. Please respect the school, both outside and in by helping to keep it neat, clean and free of trash.  Take pride in the fact that you are an Eastern Greene Thunderbird and insist that others respect the school’s facilities and property that are shared by the entire community.  Parents, please feel free to detach the information below to contact me, via phone call or e-mail. Please be sure to read these rules & sign in the correct spaces to confirm you and your child are familiar with my classroom rules & expectations. I look forward to an amazing 2019-2020 school year.