“The questions remain: what makes up ‘good’ writing? Can a film be a form of composition? What kind of messages do films try to tell us, and how do they go about showing those messages?”

I was so happy when I found out I was chosen to be one of Chapman University’s English Graduate Teaching Assistants. Our class was the very first to participate in the program, and as a 4+1 student I was the youngest student, so you can imagine how much my fear equaled my excitement.

The semester was life-changing for me – it was my first time standing on the other side of the classroom, after all. I learned first-hand how much effort goes into planning one lesson, how much pain goes into grading, and how much gratification comes from seeing a student learn from you. Like many others I experienced “imposter syndrome,” but tried my best to overcome it, and by the end received many good reviews from my students, one of whom even called me their “favorite teacher.”

Linked below is a website I used in conjunction with my class to give my students an online component to their learning. Their weekly assignments included blogging and online research, a strategy I believe helped them learn to see different kinds of writing over a semester.

Task: Handling all lesson planning, execution, grading, and evaluation for an English 103 class of freshmen and sophomores.

Action: Hard work and a semester-long dedication to helping my students learn how writing can affect perception. Use of online components, peer review, and research to discover effective teaching methods.

Results: Good reviews from both students and peers and a newfound appreciation for teachers.

Check out the website and online syllabus (which schedule and readings!) here.