.in this issue

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8

Dr. Hill's Goodbye

Mathews Scholarship

Undergrad Conference

Hipchen Awarded Fulbright to India

Things Retained from India

New Releases from Faculty

2009 English Expo

Faculty Advance Careers

Chaple Named McEver Visiting Chair at Georgia Tech

In Every Issue

Job Spotlight

Cheers

Course Descriptions

Summer 2009

Fall 2009

Job Spotlight on Rachel Jones

English teachers are too often associated with the negatives of the profession such as blood red pens waiting to destroy one’s paper and presumably one’s life, endless research papers on authors no one has ever heard of, and of course, as a woman, most students expect me to have a bun with a pencil sticking out. Yet, on the first day of school, as seniors settle into their desks in Room 310 at Central High School, some seem rather surprised that these more dreaded elements of British Literature are no where to be found. Instead, I try to greet students with an open invitation for learning. Although any good education professor will tell you that classroom management is a key to classroom success, I try to strike a balance between the dispenser of knowledge and an equal participant in a learning experience.

Possibly one of my favorite quotes from British Literature would have to be Chaucer’s description of the Oxford Cleric from “The Canterbury Tales”: “And he would gladly learn, and gladly teach”. As an English teacher at CHS, the most applicable and important lesson I learned from the English Department at the University of West Georgia was playing the role of student. In a profession often mistaken as narcissistic—although I will admit they have a point there—I find the daily focus centered on the students and what they teach me about the literature. Every class change, I am privileged to see a new, fresh approach to literature that would surely sound mundane after the fifth or sixth reading in a day. The saying that “literature lives” takes on a whole new meaning when you begin to analyze Milton and Pope with thirty seniors; needless to say, their perspectives and criticism are intriguing and at times, enlightening.

 

The partnership between the English Department and Education Department at West Georgia equipped me with the necessary content knowledge and ability to communicate that knowledge. Being a teacher begs more than an understanding of literary periods and terms; it requires the desire to share your knowledge and skill with others—there’s the narcissism. After explaining a concept or theme in every possible way, including interpretive song and dance, I love the look on a student’s face when they understand. The light bulb moments in education make the hard work worth it all. As a teacher, I learn the most in those moments.

With seniors especially, I am pushed everyday to encourage thinking outside of the box. As a former student, I understand the importance and remember how former professors encouraged creative thought and expression even in critical writing and analysis. This lesson reminds me to listen to students and accept their ideas and interpretations although they may differ from mine. For example, students were to create a collage communicating a theme from Heart of Darkness. One student in particular refused to pick up scissors and glue in class. Yet, at home, he created an illuminated shadow box illustrating the darkness of man’s heart. Almost once a week, I am floored by the time and thought students are willing to put into things meaningful to them, reminding me, if I keep an open mind, they will as well.

True, the profession of teaching does not suit all English majors, yet, when it fits, it fits. Although both English and Education departments prepared me for teaching, nothing prepares you for the first day of school. In that moment, when the 8:30 bell rings, you decide that you love teaching or you hate it. Lucky for me, I found it exhilarating to not only teach but to learn as well.

—Rachel Jones


2009 English Expo

The English programs were on display at the 2nd annual English Expo, held on March 25th in the TLC atrium. The Expo allowed students to meet professors and students in the English program, hear about career paths, learn about our programs, and view Summer and Fall course descriptions. In conjunction with the Expo, Sigma Tau Delta hosted a Scrabble tournament.

Raffle prizes were given away and our very own, Jonette Larrew, walked away with the grand prize—an IPod Nano.

The winner of the Scrabble tournament was Jason Soucy, who took home a cash prize.