Teaching

I’m as passionate about teaching as I am about writing.

I have over eight years’ experience teaching writing in various capacities to students of all ages, and I continue to do so today.  Currently, I teach language arts to 3rd-5th-graders at Long-View Micro School in Austin, Texas.  I’m also an adjunct professor at St. Edward’s University, teaching courses on creative writing and children’s/young-adult literature.

In virtually all of the classes and workshops I teach, we discuss outstanding works of literature (everything from classic poetry to recently published children’s novels) as writers, close-reading and critically analyzing each piece with an eye toward how the author is producing certain effects and why the author is making certain literary choices.  In this way, we learn the techniques that authors use so that we can apply them in our own writing.  I believe deeply that all children are inherently creative, so I strive to simply give them the best tools to shape the stories they have inside.

Whatever and whomever I may be teaching, my hallmark is a supportive, kind, creative, and rigorous approach that builds students’ skills as much as it builds their confidence.

In the past, I have led challenging, fun, and inspiring weekly after-school creative writing workshops for kids and teens, tailored to each school’s needs and interests and often involving an ambitious, collaborative, semester-long project (past workshops have focused on multi-genre creative writing, screenwriting, fantasy writing, mystery writing, and nature writing).  I also have years of experience teaching informal creative writing classes and summer camp programs to students of all ages at schools and public libraries in three states and on two continents.

This blog post about a one-week summer camp (“Book Crush”) that I led, organized by the Austin Public Library Friends Foundation’s Badgerdog creative writing program, showcases the amazing work of some of my younger students.

Please contact me if you’re interested in after-school classes or have any questions!

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