I believe that education is the most meaningful expression of our democracy. It transforms students from children, dependent on their communities and uncertain of their own identities, into individuals who can be leaders and advocates for their communities.
Education is the means by which we come to understand our own potential as human beings, and the way our lives interface with the complexities of the world. As a teacher, my role is to show young people that learning is not something to be absorbed passively: it is a powerful tool they can use to better themselves and all around them.
I was raised and schooled in the United Kingdom, graduating from one of London’s best colleges with a First Class degree in English (the highest honor awarded at British universities).
I have lived in the United States for three years and gained my Master’s in teaching here. While I studied at Fairfield University, I helped administer the Writing Center, tutoring, mentoring my young staff, and establishing a year-long series of collaborative writing seminars for Doctoral students which I devised and led.
My training at Fairfield has allowed me to gain expertise in curricular design and best teaching practices, and most importantly, it has taught me that the best way to reach students is to focus on their needs as unique individuals, catering instruction to suit each student’s learning style.
During my student teaching experience, I developed a curriculum for high school freshmen that would allow for a collaborative, student-led exploration of the moral questions raised by The Lord of the Flies. We investigated how the novel reflected the harsh reality of urban America, taking it as impetus to examine the unwritten rules of our own school community.
My two senior groups, including many ESL and IEP students, were tasked with absorbing the difficult historical lessons of Ernest Gaines’ A Lesson Before Dying. I worked with them to deconstruct the novel through role-playing, mock trial activities, and social media activism. My co-teacher, seasoned in special education, commented that during these sessions she saw students speak and write confidently in ways they never had before.
I am an established writer of poetry, translations and short stories, and have published my work in over fifty magazines in the U.S., Canada and Britain. This week, a work of theater based around a post-modern dramatization one of my short stories will be performed at a found space in Plymouth, on the south coast of England, and should be touring Britain subsequently.
I have participated in many poetry readings on two continents, and love to engage my students in reading and sharing their own creative works. When not writing, I’m passionate about languages: over the past three years I taught myself French and German, and I am currently learning Russian, reading the works of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy in the original.
STANDARDIZED TEST RESULTS
For my GRE exam, I received scores of 670 (92 percentile) and 6.0 (99th percentile) for Verbal and Writing, respectively. For the PRAXIS II English Educator Subject Area Exam, I received a grade of 200 (a perfect score).