Teaching

Below you will find a brief statement of my teaching philosophy and a list of courses that I've taught.

Teaching Philosophy
Moving through higher education involves emotional as well as cognitive labor that is, quite simply, hard. It’s hard whether students are eighteen, second-career adults, or multilingual international learners. Thus, in the midst of any shaking up that might productively disrupt students’ (or my own) assumptions about topics, genres, or audiences, I promote habits of mind that require slowing down: delaying judgment, reading rhetorically, and developing persistence. In writing and rhetoric courses, I want students to have rhetorical encounters, encounters with the potential to shake us up and that require we reexamine our assumptions. By staging such encounters, I create space for students to explore their personal commitments, examine the broader discourses in which they participate, and reflect on their own complex identities as writers. I also attempt to mobilize in them a desire for lifelong learning by treating their work not only as artifacts of performances finished, but as artifacts of promise—as signs of things yet to come.

Students discursively reposition and reimagine themselves as they make rhetorical interventions into varied situations. This work is illustrated by a synthesis assignment I use in first-year writing. As a class, we look at a set of shared texts. The content varies, but it is material that asks students to reflect on their beliefs about the nature and work of writing: a scholarly article about literacy sponsors, a video study of students’ reactions to teacher comments, a podcast about texting as writing, clips from popular movies, writers reflecting on their processes. Through a range of activities, students ask questions, parse out claims from evidence, and consider the implications of what they are noticing. By dwelling in analysis and attending closely to their data before coming to a definite argument, students often allow what they find to inform their assertions. They bring a few shared texts into a conversation that they orchestrate. When students genuinely engage with a range of ideas, they often produce compelling insights that push their thinking beyond where it was at the beginning of the course. Throughout this process students also practice academic discourse conventions and further develop their stylistic repertoires.

I want students to understand rhetoric as informed practice that humanely responds to various situations. In professional and technical writing, this understanding requires that students reimagine issues of document design. For an instructions assignment, students quickly realize that seemingly simple or uncomplicated writing tasks—such as choosing between a bulleted list or numbered sequence, crafting a passive voice or active voice construction—involve complex decisions that require user-center thinking, genre knowledge, and stylistic flexibility. As students conduct usability testing on their instructions, report on their findings, and revise their final instructions set, they don’t just learn about rhetoric. They experience rhetoric as a simultaneously critical and creative act. Professional and technical writing students also research and revise documentation within organizations. In one class, two students collaboratively investigated their workplace and found that a form used to document physical therapy sessions could be revised for enhanced usability; their employer implemented their redesign. Students learn that their documents live or die by what audience members do with them.

My pedagogy is in process, but it is always informed by a responsiveness to the unpredictable scene of writing and lives of students.

Courses Taught at Lamar University 
ENGL 5346, Studies in Rhetoric: Style
ENGL 4346, Studies in Rhetoric: Style
ENGL 5314, Studies in Critical Theory
ENGL 4314, Studies in Critical Theory
• ENGL 3326, Advanced Expository Writing (4 sections)
• ENGL 3310, Technical Report Writing (3 sections)
• ENGL 1302, Composition II (4 sections)
• ENGL 1301, Composition I (honors, 2 sections)
• HNRS 3161, Writing Popular Science and Research
• DWRT 0371, Developmental Writing (2 sections)

Courses Taught at Syracuse University
• WRT 670, TA Practicum (composition practicum)
• WRT 209, Research and Writing (honors intermediate writing, 2 sections)
• WRT 205, Critical Inquiry and Research (intermediate writing, 3 sections)
• WRT 105, Practices of Academic Writing (first-year writing, 4 sections)
• WRT 104, Introduction to College-Level Writing (basic writing, 3 sections)
• Writing Center Tutor

Courses Taught at North Central Texas College
• ENGL 1302, Composition II: Writing with Literature (high school dual-credit)
• ENGL 1301, Composition I (first-year writing)
• ENGL 1301, Composition I (high school dual-credit)

Courses Taught at Texas Woman's University 
• ENG 1023 Composition II (first-year writing, 2 sections)
• ENG 1013, Composition I (first-year writing)
• ENG 1013, Composition I (first-year writing learning community)
• Writing Center Tutor

Student Publications and Presentations
• Junior-Level Advanced Expository Course -- Katherine Waterbury, Essay on Sons of Anarchy
• Junior-Level Advanced Expository Course -- Salena Parker, Poem

Samples of Student Work (Shared with Permission)
• Senior-Level Style Course -- Humorous Style Guide Remix
• Junior-Level Technical and Professional Writing Course -- Study with Recommendations
• First-Year Writing Course -- Research Accommodation Essay