When I tell people that I am English teacher, the recipient who hears this information stiffens and then declares these sentiments: "I don't like to read," or "I hate grammar," or "I am no good at writing" and then sort of shuts down. With responses like these, I am wondering how a producer or director has never made a horror movie featuring an English teacher who can stop people dead in their tracks by announcing that they teach English--perhaps the popularity of zombie movies is really about English?
When I approach a student's work, I like to assure them that they did not get something wrong, but that it is just underdeveloped. As a former college student, I know how hard it is to write effective, well-developed papers that earn good grades and show the mind at work. Therefore, the first step is to help students to understand assignments. If a student cannot understand what their assignment is, then how do they proceed?
Secondly, I help students negotiate their way through primary and secondary reading materials such as a work of fiction and/or a scholarly work on fiction.
Third, I help students manage the complexities of writing by showing them that writing is context specific, that revision is more than editing and involves working with critical feedback from instructors.
When I was a graduate student/teaching assistant, I worked in a Communication Skills Center, conducted writing labs, and taught English 101 and 102. I currently teach English composition, writing and research, and American literature.
My passion is to take the zombie effect out of reading and instill a desire for knowledge. My goal is to get students to think and to contribute to knowledge. For me, it is an honor to work with students, especially when I see the lightbulbs turn on in their heads.
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