My teaching seeks much more than the simple conveyance of information; it is informed by the conviction that each student enters the classroom with unique experiences, challenges, and strengths. My duty and passion is to facilitate a learning process that builds upon these foundations. In my classes, students progress toward achieving their personal, academic, and professional goals, and I teach them how to simultaneously express passion and meet academic standards. Claiming a single-theory approach to teaching, therefore, inaccurately represents the scope and value of my pedagogy. Instead, through the application of various methods and theoretical approaches, students and I both improve exponentially and collaboratively.
Because boredom restricts instruction and collaboration, my teaching employs creative and humorous elements: I equate punctuation with superheroes, ranking them according to strength; teach tone and voice through channeling the perspectives of famous figures and rewriting the age-old question of why the chicken crossed the road; and parody pop music
to discuss conversational language
. In the classroom, these exercises and many others like them encourage student involvement with material and build rapport.
In addition to creative teaching modes, I apply a process-based model for teaching. Students regularly journal from their own experiences, create writing
portfolios, and participate in guided peer reviews and conferences. Through focusing on the process of writing, students grasp the concepts more fully and the “products” they create become stronger as they revisit and revise their work.
My unique background enhances my teaching abilities. While teaching in early-childhood education, I developed a keen understanding of simple communication and the universal effectiveness of fun; consequently, I am a very patient and thorough teacher in the face of challenges and learning impediments. Additionally, as an alumnus of a rigorous undergraduate creative writing program, my teaching and writing reflect an infectious passion for the written word. I fueled that passion daily in my four years as a writing center tutor and discovered that, across universities and cultures, writing poses daunting challenges for many students. My experiences in writing centers provide an excellent foundation for teaching students how to overcome those challenges in the college composition classroom. I am also a current and life-long student of literature
and writing, which creates empathy for students and provides a nearly endless resource for new and exciting material. The combination of my uncommon experiences generates effective and engaging teaching that constantly advances and improves.
I am not solely responsible for my teaching successes, though. From volunteering in elementary classrooms to facilitating ESL
writing tutorials, my students and I thrive academically and seek opportunities to advance together. In fact, collaboration with students humbles me. Whether it involves a reading
fund-raiser for kids or learning conversational Chinese
, the community created in the classroom continues to teach me valuable lessons that I could never learn alone. As a result, my teaching will always endeavor to bequeath an infectious passion for writing, creatively engage students, and continually improve alongside them.