MPSHome Alumni Calendar Contact MyMPS
Ms. Swanson
I am Ms. Swanson

Phone: (612)-532-2851


Room Schedule:

1st Hour: Prep (Office in 260B)

2nd Hour: Humanities 1 (258)

3rd Hour: Humanities 2 (259)

4th Hour: Humanities 1 (259)

5th Hour: Prep (Office in 260B)

6th Hour: Humanities 2 (259)

7th Hour: Humanities 1 2 (258)




Sara Swanson's "American Me" Identity Piece


On the outside I am a polite, privileged, white twenty-something female. I am nice enough to gain the respect of most people around me. I sometimes have fun colors in my hair. I have tattoos and piercings that beg the world not to take me seriously. I wear t-shirts with political statements, and my new car already has political bumper stickers on it. I appear to be a loveable, approachable, kind white American female. I am engaged to marry a kind and approachable Christian white male, though I do not identify as Christian. People with power like me best when I don’t speak. People without much power sometimes don’t trust me.

On the inside, I am someone who has always believed in equity (fairness). I am a feminist. When I was 10 years old, I played on the flag football team as the only girl, because there wasn’t a girl’s team. I always thought it was good to be independent and strong, until later in life when that didn’t seem like the kind of qualities that a man might be interested in in a female. Though there have been many times in my life when I have felt oppressed because of my gender, I continue my march towards equality with patience and understanding. I allow myself to be independent and strong. When I moved to Minneapolis from the suburbs at 15, I realized that the world is full of inequity, and that I benefit from some of that inequity. Today, I do whatever I can to speak up for all of the silences that I recognize. I am fully committed to disrupting the systems that continue to oppress and stifle people. I believe that the best starting point for this kind of work is elevating our language, and focusing on our commonalities. Unity is power.


Teaching Philosophies

I love teaching at South --where teachers expect critical thinking and understanding in a rich and diverse learning environment. I believe that English is the most important subject because language is the greatest tool we have to navigate our worlds. I believe that students learn best from each other--sharing ideas, and challenging their own beliefs. In my classroom, we are focused on creating meaning with language, and reading with a critical eye. Not just reading the word, but also the world.

Humanities I - 9th Grade

In this course, we will examine literature through multiple global perspectives, and try to answer some of these questions: 


What does it mean to be human?

What experiences do all humans share?

Why do humans tell stories?

What is culture?

What's my story? What's my passion?

What characteristics do great stories/ great art share?



Here is the link to the daily slides for Quarter 1


Here is the link to the daily slides for

Quarter 2


Here is the link to the daily slides for Quarter 3


Here is the link to the daily slides for

Quarter 4


This is the link to the Google Classroom for


Humanities 1 2nd Hour

Humanities 1 4th Hour


How have cultures changed as a result of contact, conflict, and communication?

How do I express my humanity through the arts?

What are our responsibilities as members of a global community?

How is our evolving and advancing technology affecting our humanity?









Humanities II

American History and Literature

In this class, we will explore American history through some classic and some contemporary relevant literary works. 



Humanities II Essential Questions

What does it mean to be human?  How do we define good and evil?  What are some things that influence human behavior?


Why do we tell stories?  What do oral traditions tell us about ourselves?  What are the different communities with which you identify? What do stories tell us about the resiliency of the human spirit?  How does history shape human identity?  How do people create identity through storytelling?


How does geography influence destiny?  How does where you live shape your identity?  How does membership in community reveal itself through language?  How do people resolve conflicting loyalties?


What does it mean to be American?  What is American culture?  What sets one culture apart from another?  How have different cultures in America interacted with one another throughout history?  How and why have some American cultures been judged better than others?  


How has and does American culture change?  What are some positive and negative outcomes of change in American culture and traditions?  


How does art (literature, music, painting, sculpture, drama) play a role in American culture, in being human?  How is the arts part of the American experience?


What is America’s story?  How does our history give a narrative of America’s past, present, and future?


How have the legacies of imperialism and conflict shaped America?  How do stories impact our lives today? How do past experiences influence how we design or create our future?

What are our responsibilities as Americans?