“Teaching holds a mirror to the soul. If I am willing to look in that mirror and not run from what I see I have a chance to gain self knowledge and knowing myself is as crucial to good teaching as knowing my students and my subject. In fact, knowing my students and my subject depends heavily on self knowledge" (Parker Palmer, The Courage to Teach).

I have always wanted my own classroom. Setting the stage for the future, my father fashioned a childhood classroom for me in a corner of our concrete-walled basement in Royal Oak, Michigan. I couldn't have been more than 10. 

Dad was an expert scavenger and managed to get his hands on both a church pew, which he propped against a wall, and three or four used school-house desks, where my dolls and stuffed animals sat for lessons. 

 

The coup de grace, though, was a massive sheet of slate, which my father transformed into a blackboard at the front of my makeshift classroom.

 

Back then, I never dreamed I would teach at the college level, but in 2001, I began my career as an English instructor at Louisiana State University (LSU). 

In 2002, I wrote and received a grant to begin a Service-Learning class with international students, and that experience set me on a course of civic engagement.Youth civic engagement is defined as working to make a difference in the civic life of one's community. It also involves developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values, and motivation to make that difference. These activities enrich the lives of youths and are socially beneficial to the community.

me with students

me with books

soulcollage at red shoes

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TEACHING EXPERIENCE

2004-2015:                 

Instructor, Louisiana State University Independent and Distance Learning

  • Taught Advanced Composition and Business Writing to students from across the country, from nurses seeking to advance their careers to incarcerated prisoners to traditional students 

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2001-2006:                 

Instructor, Louisiana State University English Department

  • Taught Composition & Rhetoric, Business Writing, and Images of Women in Literature.

  • Developed intercultural service-learning curriculum, Transcending Stereotypes in a Post September 11 World. 

  • Nominated for the 2004 LSU Outstanding Service-Learning Award.

Course Descriptions
  • Advanced Composition and Business Writing, Office of Independent Study, Louisiana State University.  Responded to and graded student papers via correspondence courses.  

  • Business Writing, Louisiana State University. Introduced upper-level undergraduates to business documents (reports, articles, proposals, career documents, and letters).

  • Freshman Composition, Louisiana State University, North Central Michigan College, Central Michigan University.  Introduced first-year and community-college students to nonfiction prose writing; argument; research; and the necessity of logical structure, style, and documentation.  

  • Freshman Seminar, Louisiana State University. Oriented first-year students to University policies and resources, history, and traditions in this first-semester course designed to accustom students to university life and help them develop essential academic skills.

  • Images of Women in Literature, Louisiana State University. Introduced upper-level undergraduates to an exploration of the ways in which women are portrayed in the short story and the novel (with special units on children’s literature and gay/lesbian young-adult literature).  

  • Introduction to Fiction, Louisiana State University. Introduced upper-level undergraduates to the short story and the novel in this general-education course designed to improve student skills in reading and writing about fiction.

Writing Matters

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