Teaching

Overview

I believe that reading critically and writing persuasively are crucial, versatile skills that my students can carry with them to a variety of majors and careers. In my teaching, I seek to expose submerged connections between claims and evidence and demystify the norms of academic writing. Drawing on my expertise in classical rhetoric, I teach students how to frame a problem, make an intervention, structure an argument, and anticipate counterarguments. One of the things I always say to my students (and to myself as I write) is “Be kind to your reader.” Writing is not an exercise in demonstrating knowledge, but an encounter enacted through the page. Writing hospitably requires empathy, patience, and vulnerability.

 

My ten years of teaching experience at the secondary and postsecondary levels have uniquely prepared me to guide students through the critical transition to college. Before entering graduate school, I worked as the literature and rhetoric teacher at a classical high school, teaching five concurrent courses on subjects from ancient epic and eighteenth-century satire to transcendentalism and the contemporary global novel. As the founding faculty member and co-director of a schoolwide “house” system, I mentored student leaders and planned five annual competitions, including creative writing and visual arts contests designed to bring the humanities into the public sphere.

 

Since then, I have taught my own first-year writing seminars and served as a teaching assistant for “Shakespeare in the 20 and 21st Centuries” at Cornell and “Global Sustainability” and “Intro to Sociology” at the University of Virginia. Much of my service work at Cornell centers on teaching mentorship: I have trained new instructors, led a workshop on crafting creative assignments, and created a collaborative space to share teaching materials., which was later included in the department’s teaching resources page. My teaching has been recognized at Cornell by the Martin Sampson Teaching Award and the Shin Yong-Jin Fellowship for excellence in teaching and scholarship.

On this page I've included descriptions of my courses, access to several of my class blogs, as well as content from some pedagogy presentations.

Goldwin smith hall classroom.jpeg

Teaching Experience

“Dramedy from Ancient Greece to NBC,” Fall 2018

Considered how genre-bending plays, novels, films, and TV shows walk the line between drama and comedy. Who gets to laugh and at whom? How do texts adapt or parody other genres? What is the role of race and gender in comedy? Students write public-facing blog posts, essays, reviews, and creative pieces.

Visit or preview the class blog here:

“The Mystery in the Story,” Fall 2017, Spring 2018                                             

Course explored the tropes, conventions, narrative structures of mystery from Sophocles to Ishiguro. Assignments aimed to demystify academic writing and develop students’ unique voices.

Upper School Literature and Rhetoric Teacher, Ad Fontes Academy, Centreville, VA (2011 – 2014)

Designed and implemented curricula emphasizing analytical writing and discussion-based classes at a classical school. Typically taught 5–6 unique preps each semester.

Courses designed and taught:

19th and 20th Century Literature, 7th grade (2011 – 2014)

Ancient Literature, 8th grade (2012–2014)

European Literature, 10th grade (2011 – 2014)

American Literature, 11th grade (2011 – 2014)

Great Books, 12th grade (2011 – 2014)

Creative Writing Elective (2013 – 2014)

Rhetoric I, 11th grade (2011 –2013)

Introduction to Epic Poetry for Entering Students (Summer 2013)

Writing Instructor, Four Star Camps, Charlottesville, VA, Summer 2016

Designed and taught Academic Writing, Public Speaking, and Critical Reading courses for college-prep program at the University of Virginia.

Creative Writing Instructor, Learning Support Ministry, Centreville, VA, Summer 2014

Designed and led creative writing workshop for English language learners.

Teaching Assistant

Cornell University

ENG 2080: “Shakespeare in the 20 and 21st Centuries,” Professor Stuart Davis, Spring 2019

The University of Virginia

SOC 1010: “Intro to Sociology,” Professor Paul Kingston, 3 sections, Spring 2015

ARCH 2050: “Global Sustainability,” Professor Carla Jones, 1 section, Fall 2014

Guest Lecturer

Teaching Mentorship with Caroline Levine, Department of English, Cornell University, Spring 2020

Gave a guest lecture on “The (In)Hospitality of Tourism in Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place” for 2000-level course, “The Idea of Hospitality.” Designed and managed asynchronous discussion boards for over 100 students during the COVID19 pandemic. 

Writing Tutor

Writing Center Intern, Cornell Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines, Summer 2017

Writing Center Tutor, The University of Virginia, 2014 – 2016

Training Teachers: Pedagogy Presentations and Workshops

Writing 7100: “Teaching Writing,” Co-facilitator: Jessica Sands, The Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines, Cornell University, Summer 2019

Intensive course preparing graduate students to teach First-Year Writing courses. Led discussions and provided individualized feedback on course syllabi, assignment sequences, and activities.

 

“Teaching and Assessing Non-Traditional and Creative Assignments in First-Year Writing

Seminars,” Planned and co-led public workshop with Bojan Srbinovski for graduate instructors and faculty hosted by the Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines, Cornell University, July 2019.

“Teaching World Literature,” invited guest on the Circulating Spaces Podcast: Literary

and Language Worlds in a Global Age, Public Humanities Lab at the Institute for the Humanities and Global Cultures, University of Virginia, November 2017.

“Dismantling the Five-Paragraph Essay,” Ad Fontes Academy Faculty Training,

Centreville, VA, August 2013.

Professional Development

Teaching and Learning in the Diverse Classroom, Cornell Center for Teaching Innovation, Summer 2020

Completed course on evidence-based learning strategies for designing inclusive courses, supporting diverse student engagement, and facilitating discussions on difficult topics.

Peer Collaboration, The Knight Institute, Cornell University, Spring 2018

Completed a semester-long collaboration with an upper-level graduate student: observed one another teach, exchanged teaching materials, discussed instruction and assignment sequencing.

Teaching Writing Course, The Knight Institute, Cornell University, Summer 2017

Course on pedagogical theory and practice for new first-year writing seminar instructors.

Harkness Method Workshop, Exeter Humanities Institute, August 2013

Attended a workshop with Ralph Sneeden training teachers to orient their classroom around student-driven discussion, including methods of encouraging and assessing student participation.

Joseph F. Martino '53 Lecturer in Undergraduate Teaching, Cornell University (2021 – 2022)

“Living with Death,” English 2890 Expository Writing, Spring 2022 (scheduled)

Course discusses perspectives on death from philosophy, psychology, medicine, as well as literature, film, and television. What are the ethical implications of witnessing the death of another? How do monuments mark some lives as more valuable than others? Who decides who lives and who dies? How do we imagine the unthinkable, that our planet is dying? Students write personal narratives, oral histories, multimedia public essays, and create an annotated digital map of monuments.

“Traveling Poetry: Diaspora & Tourism,” ENGL 1111 FWS, Spring 2022 (scheduled, part two of two-part survey)

Seminar reads the poetry of diaspora (exile, the Middle Passage, and contemporary immigration and migration) in conversation with the poetry of tourism from the Grand Tour (Wordsworth, Byron) to the modern vacation (Elizabeth Bishop, Derek Walcott). Is tourism always voyeuristic? Is reading a kind of tourism? Treating writing a vehicle for thought rather than a destination, we will practice moving through ideas and across drafts.

“Traveling Poetry: Pilgrimage & Conquest,” FWS, Fall 2021 (part one of two-part survey)

From tales of meandering conquest in Homer to Dante’s underworld, poetry ferries readers across time and space. Beginning with The Odyssey, Part One of this two-part course (each can be taken separately) interrogates narratives of discovery in poetry about colonization in the Americas (The Tempest, Hart Crane) and pilgrimages both earthly (Chaucer) and otherworldly (Dante). We’ll compare the sonnet’s epiphany to narratives of discovery and epic’s authority to manifest destiny.

First-Year Writing Seminar Instructor of Record, Cornell University (2017 – 2021)

“Documentary, Now?,” Spring 2021 (virtual), Fall 2022

Designed with generous support from the Shin Yong-Jin Fellowship.

Course tracks the 21st century surge in documentary. We discuss why documentary resonates with our moment and ask: what is the relationship between propaganda and data? What counts as evidence? Whose voices are heard and whose are silenced? Students craft arguments, gather oral histories, write film reviews for our class blog, and ultimately create their own documentary poem, essay, podcast, or film.

Visit or preview the Spring 2021 class blog here: