Yes, I was that child “teaching” friends or toys or whatever captive audience I could find growing up, but “teacher” shared equal billing with “artist” and “astronaut” on my list of things I wanted to be when I grew up. As I got older, I thought “doctor,” “psychiatrist,” even “interior decorator” before I thought “teacher.” When I decided to move on from community college in California to go to a 4-year school in Connecticut, I knew I needed to choose rather than bouncing from major to major paying out-of-state tuition.

After some serious self-reflection, it came to me: Teacher. I had applied as an English major, so I got to work on my general education requirements and English classes before looking into the education program. I remember trying to decide between elementary and secondary education. And then I took my first creative writing classes – fiction with Dr. Tom Hazuka and poetry with future inaugural poet Richard Blanco. It was then that I knew I wanted to go on to get my MFA and then on to teach writing at the college level. Although I loved fiction and poetry almost equally, I eventually chose to focus on poetry, and with the help of independent study and mentoring from Professor Blanco, I put together a sampling of my best work for applications.

Upon receiving my acceptance letter from San Diego State University, then ranked as one of the 50 best MFA programs in the country, it was off to grad school. As soon as I learned of the opportunity to teach Rhetoric and Writing 100, I signed up for the course that would prepare me to teach the class, and after my first successful semester of teaching, I was thrilled to realize that I enjoyed it as much as I hoped I would.

In the twelve years since teaching that first class, I have taught Rhetoric and Writing 100, Composition I, Composition II (Composition and Literature), Advanced Composition, Introduction to Creative Writing, Developmental Reading, Developmental Writing, and Technical Report Writing at universities, community colleges, and for-profit colleges, both in the classroom and online. In the links below, I’ve taken the time to share some of my favorite assignments, sequences of assignments, textbooks, etc. Please feel free to leave feedback or ask questions.