As a teacher, I aim to create a courageous, open, mutually engaging, and joyful space that connects with each student as a complete human being and helps move them towards finding and strengthening their true voice. I combine the following key elements:
I believe in creating a space in which students will feel empowered to engage with the subject matter and produce their best writing.
I aim to teach my classes in a structured but flexible way that strikes a balance between following a preset curriculum and allowing opportunities for new ideas to open up channels of learning.
Learning, for me, always goes both ways, and I continue to be humbled by how much I learn in every class I teach. I prefer engagement and discussion at as many points as possible, and build in plenty of in-class writing as well as courageous sharing. Finally, I try as much as possible to ensure students vocalize their questions or other needs, and give them responses and options based on those needs.
Writing classes should be fun! I aim to work in humor and levity, particularly to balance somber subject matter. I often work with subject matter that brings out strong emotions, which I try to recognize and create appropriate space to work through.
I believe teaching without connection is impossible. So I try to get to know and understand my students as complete human beings in the context of their writing goals, and to encourage them to know, understand, and learn from one another. Writers need other writers, and I see the project of strengthening the mutual bond between writers as being every bit as important as imparting knowledge of a particular subject matter.
In the end, I aim to impact the lives of my students by helping them find and strengthen their voices and achieve their own writing goals, whatever those may be.