English Major Concentration: Literature, Teacher Licensure
Current Position: Seventh-grade Reading Teacher, Power Center Academy Middle School, Memphis, Tenn.
Since leaving Elon, I earned my Masters of Urban Education from Union University while co-teaching 10th Grade English at Wooddale High School in Memphis, Tennessee. Starting in July 2015, I will be the 7th Grade Reading Teacher at Power Center Academy Middle School.
Did your degree in English with a concentration in literature and teacher licensure prepare you for your professional career?
Elon prepared me best for teaching by allowing me to work alongside several successful educators who work at high needs schools within the Alamance-Burlington and Guilford County School Systems. Each placement taught me about what it means to be a skillful, effective teacher who rises against systematic challenges to maximize student achievement. Also important, Elon’s Teacher Education program and English Department carefully constructed meaningful classes that exposed me to teaching practices and literature that I use in the classroom daily. Particularly profound were Dr. Jeffrey Carpenter’s Teaching Diverse Learners class, Dr. Kim Pyne’s Secondary English Methods class, and the three literature classes I took from Dr. Scott Proudfit: Shakespeare, Advanced World Literature, and American Literature II. Every day, I have to cater to the various academic, emotional, and social needs of my students; I can do that only because of what I have learned in both my classes and field placements.
Is there value in an English degree?
A degree in English has unspeakable, infinite value. Imagine any activity under the sun; you cannot do it without some sort of English skill.
What was your best experience as an English major?
My best experience by far was working for Elon Academy, which is a part of Elon University’s Center of Access and Support. Ms. Debby Wall from the professional development center helped me to create my own internship so that I could earn credit hours by working as a Collegiate Start Mentor for Elon Academy’s high school seniors. As a mentor, I guided scholars taking college classes for the first time by designing and leading college readiness skill workshops to help scholars be successful in their classes. We worked on time management, self-advocacy, navigating college resources and systems, professional relationships, writing and literacy techniques, and other college and career readiness. As a result, the scholars excelled in their classes.
Any advice for English majors?
I would advise current Elon English majors to take advantage of every opportunity possible to grow professionally. Find a volunteer position, internship site, research opportunity, work experience, or hobby that will allow you to develop skill sets for your career; commit to it, and see what you can learn.