I am an avid reader, and a creative writer of both poetry and short fiction. From my earliest memories onward, I have enjoyed being immersed in the world of books, and this love of literature quickly sparked a desire and need to write stories of my own. William Wordsworth defined poetry as “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings” that is “recollected in tranquility” and that is the jumping off point I use when describing myself as a writer, because at my core I am a collection of powerful feelings, prone to spontaneous overflow. I have never known how to be mellow or apathetic; I feel passionately about everything in my life and the world surrounding me–be it passionate glee, anger, curiosity, terror, the list goes on and on. As a result, words have been my constant companions since I could hold a pencil and etch out coherent thought; they are the life raft keeping me afloat in the busy, turbulent sea that my brain can be.
Why I Teach
The key component to Wordsworth’s definition of poetry, and the most valuable lesson about writing that I’ve learned so far is the “recollect[ion] in tranquility” bit of his thesis: the best writing is typically not produced in the heat of the moment (although it usually makes an excellent first draft), but rather in an environment where the writer has some emotional distance from her work yet still feels confident that her voice needs to be heard. Throughout my development as a writer, I’ve been fortunate enough to have found this “tranquility” via a few influential educators whose classrooms provided the encouraging environment, culture of support, and calm, critical perspective necessary to nurture good writing.
This is exactly the type of classroom I want to create for our future generation of world citizens, readers, and writers. I want to instill in my students a passion for life and our global community, which we will unlock together by exploring literature that may offer new perspectives, pose tough questions, challenge our beliefs, or bring clarity to our own experiences. I want to shape and guide this passion by encouraging students to form their own individual opinions and express them freely and respectfully during class discussions. Finally, I want to refine and empower their passion by giving them the tools they need to transform their opinions into powerful written arguments articulated logically in whatever medium we are working in—be it an essay, short story, poem, or play.