To say that I’ve spent the past 15 years teaching at the college level doesn’t give a clear picture of what I do. As a college instructor and professor, I’ve focused on general education writing and literature courses; what I really do, therefore, is teach my students how to engage critically with the world around them. I spent a lot of time asking questions–how do you know this? where did you find that information? what does it mean when you say that?–and a lot of time giving feedback to students as they translate what’s in their heads into something that others will understand when it’s written out on the page. I’m a questioner, a reader, and a mirror for my students, helping them to ensure that their readers see what they, the writer, want the readers to see.
This is my guiding philosophy in my non-academic editorial work as well. For most projects, I’m less interested in grammar rules than in making the writing match the client’s vision. I love editing, and find it to be rewarding for a number of reasons, ranging from the fact that I don’t have to actually grade my clients’ work as I edit, to the wide range of projects I get, which gives me the opportunity to learn new things.
This love of learning also informs my work as an instructional designer, where it translates to a willingness to try new teaching strategies and tech, even when I’m apprehensive about a new approach. As long as the rationale underpinning the approach seems sound, I’ll try out innovative techniques with enthusiasm, actively looking for ways to integrated them with course objectives and activities.