I am a private writing teacher for students of all ages and backgrounds, from third graders to college students to adults. I currently work individually with twelve students, ranging from third grade to ninth grade. Some of my students love to write and are eager for additional instruction and guidance in creative writing; other students come to me because they are struggling in Language Arts and need extra help; and a couple of my students are in ESL programs. I also teach a creative writing course for high schoolers in San Jose, California. During the summer, I teach courses in Expository Writing, Persuasive Writing, Informational Writing, and Public Speaking for elementary schoolers and middle schoolers through Communication Academy. For the past ten years, I have taught popular biannual "Write On! Creative Writing Camps" for students in elementary school, middle school, and high school.
Ray Bradbury said of the reading and writing process: “We are cups … constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” I believe the best writing teachers help students discover how to fill themselves up and tip themselves over. I endeavor to give much to my students, but I receive much from them as well – fresh perspectives, energy, joy. In a successful writing class, I believe everyone (teacher included!) learns from one another. I strive to foster a stimulating and collaborative learning environment in my classroom, where students feel comfortable expressing themselves freely, taking intellectual and creative risks, and engaging in open-minded class discussion. I believe a positive classroom environment best facilitates learning, no matter what discipline or academic background students come from or outside interests they bring to the classroom. In this vein, my greatest goal as a teacher is to not only improve my students’ writing and critical-thinking skills, but also to increase their confidence in their ability to communicate and analyze information, both in the academic realm and in all areas of their lives, now and into the future.
* Committee for the Education of Teaching Assistants (CETA) Teaching Award: four graduate student teachers were chosen out of the entire English Department for this prestigious honor. (2012) * Excellence in Teaching Award from Purdue University English Department. (2011, 2012) * Quintilian Award for Teaching from Purdue University: given to the top ten percent English instructors in the Introductory Composition program. The award is based on the instructor’s overall student evaluations and comments. (Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013)
I received my B.A. in Creative Writing with a minor in Entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California. I earned my M.F.A. in Fiction from Purdue University, where I also taught undergraduate courses in the English department and served as Fiction Editor of Sycamore Review. From 2013-14, I was a John Steinbeck Fellow in Creative Writing at San Jose State University.
In addition to being a teacher, I am also the founder of Write On! Books publishing company, through which I edit and publish the anthology series "Dancing With The Pen: a collection of today’s best youth writing" that features stories, essays and poetry written by kids and teens across the country. My foundation "Write On! For Literacy" aims to empower youth through reading and writing endeavors. (www.writeonbooks.org) As a writer myself, I most enjoy writing Young Adult fiction, and my first novel is currently being shopped to publishers. My short fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and the Dzanc Books “Best of the Web” anthology and has appeared in a variety of literary journals including Cicada, The Nashville Review, The Young Adult Literature Review, and Fourth River. My nonfiction has been published in Family Circle, Writer’s Digest, The Writer, Justine, and more than two dozen "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series books.