Over my 31-year career as a high school English teacher in Western Pennsylvania, I have created courses in Honors English, Humanities, and Film Studies, always with an emphasis on exercising critical thinking skills, chief among them being creativity. My M.A. in creative writing and poetry has afforded me a great respect for ambiguity in literature, which has led me to the belief that an astute reader enters into a creative relationship with the poet himself, transforming any single lesson into an experience of personal growth.
Particularly with smaller classes, whenever possible I'd prefer to conduct class as a Socratic seminar, wherein students are enfranchised to chime in with questions and comments, and the teacher -- as facilitator -- is more or less the first among equals. Three cardinal rules are: always maintain a mutually respectful attitude by refraining from being too judgmental; ask good follow-up questions to explore an interesting tidbit (but try not to stray too far from the topic); and be sure to pull everyone into the conversation.
Who's Who Among American Educators Nominee for Teacher of the Year in Western Pennsyvania
M.A. in creative writing from the University of Louisiana Lafayette B.S. in English Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania
In addition to my 31 years in education, I had spent 8 years as a self-employed wordsmith, mostly in the resume business, but also securing freelance corporate assignments as well as publishing journalistic pieces on the arts in the Pittsburgh area. My poetry writing has been for purely personal purposes. My academic interests extend to all the arts as well as history, science, and philosophy, which inspired the interdisciplinary nature of the Humanities courses I had designed.