Writing and Teaching: A Philosophy

I began teaching at the University of Washington this year, spending three quarters as an instructor of English 131, a first-year student composition class, and two quarters as an intern for English 484, an advanced prose class taught by my Master of Fine Arts creative manuscript supervisor, Author and Professor David Shields.

David and UW Professor and Author Shawn Wong are advising me as I complete and revise my novel Subduction, currently a 100,000 word manuscript about love, betrayal, family and theft.  I live and breathe the characters of that book, which is set on the Makah Indian Reservation in Neah Bay, WA.

I have been surprised by how much teaching has helped me clarify and deepen my relationship to the written word.  As part of the UW English Department’s teacher training, I took a pedagogy class with Expository Writing Program Director and Professor Anis Bawarshi, who encouraged me to develop my teaching philosophy website.  In it, I describe why writing matters to me.  While that subject is far too complex to address in this blog post — perhaps Jhumpa Lahiri can help —  here’s one element that I share with my students:

Why does writing matter?  Writing teaches us to understand the world around us.  In turn, it helps us to be understood by others.

In that quote, you can see my great hope.  I explain my teaching philosophy here.

I graduate from the UW MFA program in June 2012.  Feel free to contact me at k <at> if you’re interested in my writing or teaching.

Although my UW experience has focused on the craft of composition and brief prose, I can also teach modern U.S. and Latin American literature, and I can do so in Spanish.  I am a multidisciplinary storyteller and seasoned journalist who can teach journalism, whether reporting, writing or producing multimedia content.

© 2013 Kristen Millares Young.