I am a firm believer of speaking things into existence and although I have long been in love with the written word it never once crossed my mind to teach. I have a cousin, a close friend and a niece who are the primary causes of my current occupation. My cousin and close friend have been calling me “Professor” since I was in my early twenties. My niece made me create assignments for her from the time she was five until she was twelve; during the summer.
Before I started teaching, it was an all-consuming desire; especially once I’d completed my MFA. I mean what else would I do with that, anyway? By that time, it was on my life list of things to do: to teach on the collegiate level. The way that the opportunity finally arose was a bit serendipitous. I was on a local campus with some friends who were alumni and was introduced to the chair of the Language, Literature and Communication department. I initially began teaching online courses which I liked but when I started teaching face to face classes I was a mixture of nerves and excitement. As I grew more confident in my teaching style, which was always laid back and conversational, I learned how to infuse the subjects that I taught with humor and a splash of current events.
I love teaching, I really do. I love imparting the information that I’ve spent so much time gathering. But I am no longer sure that my teaching needs to take place the way it currently does. In a classroom, under the constraints and dictates of others. Or from books that others choose. These days, I feel the need my own space to teach workshops unfettered. I miss teaching creative writing courses so much. And I miss being inspired by my student’s commitment to writing.
I want to be able to teach wearing a maxi skirt, off the shoulder sweatshirt and Timbs. Or in jeans, a bookish t-shirt and sneakers with my hair in braids. I want to encourage my students and expose them to as much as I can while also encouraging their creativity. I want to teach workshops in the community where I am not bound by limitations. Where I can adapt the topics and even the material that I use to teach. What I’ve come to realize is that I want to have a space where I can encourage growth and healing through writing and create my own workshops, hold events and mentor other writers.