An Inkling of the Educator
perspectives on teaching and learning
When I first considered becoming a teacher, I was in the sixth grade. That was a passing moment; I soon was back to wanting to be a writer… and a programmer and a scientist and several other things. In time, I discovered teaching allows me to share my interests and gives me a wonderful excuse to learn more. Teaching makes me a better writer, and a better person.
As an undergraduate, I did my student teaching in science and English. My goal was to have dual certification; the idea of being limited to a single subject has always scared me. Yes, I would describe my reaction to being thought of as a specialist in one field as fear.
Before completing my doctorate, I had considered obtaining a multiple-subject elementary education credential and a single-subject high school credential. During my doctoral program, I contacted the university’s School of Education to learn if I could complete my K–12 credentials, but financially that was unrealistic. Also, schools in the Midwest were closing, not hiring teachers.
At the university level, I have taught composition and writing courses with a focus on “multimedia literacy.” Writing has always been shaped by technology; I enjoy exploring how we might write in the future. But, do not assume technology is synonymous with computers. I prefer the phrase multimedia literacy to “digital composition” because my courses explore compositions that might not be delivered digitally. I want students to consider all communication forms and delivery methods, from the spoken word to blogging.
I have asked students to create portfolios in many of my classes. Though I also try to maintain various portfolios, it is a challenge to develop an online teaching portfolio. I have assembled four primary pages to give some indication of my views on teaching.
- Experience: A narrative overview
of my teaching experiences within both academic and business settings.
- Teaching Experience section of full CV
- Statement of Purpose: An explanation of my motivations and goals as an instructor.
- Personal Pedagogy: The theoretical groundings behind my instructional strategies.
- Literacy Autobiography: An example exercise on literacy, including my personal reflection on critical literacy.
- Teaching Portfolio: Example course materials from classes I have taught.
Always More to Be
In addition to the teaching-specific Web pages, this website presents an inkling of my interests in creative writing and computers. My experiences are eclectic, and they provide me with unique insights on writing and technology.
As an instructor, I have used my technical skills to maintain online courses in Blackboard and Moodle learning management systems. My students often work on digital compositions, from podcasts to video productions. I believe digital literacy is an important element within writing instruction.
Writing is and always will be my primary interest; that technology is linked intrinsically to writing is somewhat obvious. From the development of paper and ink to the modern e-book readers, technology has shaped how we convert the spoken word to something that exists apart from the author. Therefore, I am more than a writer — yet, my skills are always related to words in some form.
I hope that students realize learning a bit about many things is important in a quickly changing world. Maybe, like me, some of my students will come to resist being specialists in narrow fields.