Six years ago, I was a first-year doctoral candidate and an inexperienced teacher struggling to find my dissertation topic. Fortunately, my dissertation chair, a 30-year veteran English teacher turned college professor, sat me down, and with one simple question, I had my topic. He asked, “What is your mission?” That’s when I figured out my mission: to empower my students to find the deeper meaning.
That mission has been the focus of my work for the past six years. It’s not special. I realize this topic or a variation of this mission is common in education. What may not be as common is how we arrive at this end. I spent the last six years studying critical reading, literary criticism, and literary theory because quite simply, I believe they are the secret to critical reading success.
I have been incorporating multiple perspectives (or lens) analysis in my secondary and college classes since then, and I’ve had such success! Unfortunately, there is a misconception that literary theory is too complicated for both teachers and students, but I’ve found that this misappropriation couldn’t be further from the truth. Best of all, not only is it an organized, research-based, and standards-supported mission to help students develop critical reading skills, but students also love it! They enjoy considering all of the interesting perspectives related to a work of literature.
I have a wonderful husband whom I met during grad school. I thought it was a coincidence that he sat by me; it wasn’t. 😉 My husband is also a high school teacher who teaches AP Government and Politics, AP US History, and Senior Government. We are very fortunate to work in the same school district. I also teach part-time in the English Department at a local university. We have two book-loving daughters, Gianna and Camilla. We love reading, exploring, and traveling, and we’re always in search of new perspectives!