I believe all of us can help build the kind of world we want to live in, but teachers have more power than most. I take this charge seriously, and I am grateful that the discipline of English offers such powerful tools. Reading and discussing poetry helps us be still and pay attention in a distracting world. Writing analytically helps us evaluate the messages that bombard us and convincingly convey our interpretations to others. Reading a novel guides us to take on perspectives different from our own and sustain our engagement for hundreds of pages. Learning to write or speak persuasively, with a genuine attempt to research and understand the positions of those who disagree with us, might just help restore the soul of our democracy. Again and again in English class — with each transformative revision, each new story, each perspective-shifting discussion — we are reminded of our capacity to grow and change for the better. That’s why I love this work.
- English Teacher
- Yearbook Coordinator
- House parent
- Middlebury Bread Loaf School of English, M.A.
- Swarthmore College, B.A.