I was the middle-aged cliché who returned to college to teach composition courses, sure that my life experience and earlier careers would make me an ideal instructor. Instead, my success is in how I motivate students’ self-discipline and self-responsibility. I prod them in order to provoke an original idea. My ego would like credit for inspiring the epiphany moments when students make the interdisciplinary connection between English and other communities of knowledge, but they have to seek it. I’ve tempered idealism with basic, realistic challenges. I started politely, eager to please; now, I’m assertive and prefer respect to popularity. With my rules, expectations, and forewarnings of how composition skills apply outside academia, I am the awakening for students who disregarded earlier language/literature lessons, In turn, my students inspire me to learn new skills and methodologies. I’ve never worked harder, and I thank them.
University of Toledo, Ohio
Nine years of teaching