I go by my middle name in the classroom—”Professor Sunshine". I find that somehow it puts my students at ease, and it’s my way to subtly honor my late-mother. I teach Writing & Composition Courses in the English Department at both West Chester University & Eastern University. I have also taught at Montgomery Community College, Prince George’s Community College, and The University of Maryland.
If you are a student in my course, let me just tell you— we will be talking a lot about some uncomfortable issues: current events, politics, race, rape culture, identity, privilege, fragility and so on— so brace yourself!
I am thankful for the work I do, and I work to ensure that it comes off in my teaching. I believe in a classroom space where every voice is heard and validated (as long as we are being respectful). Even now as an adult, the courses that still remain most memorable to me from my college days, are the ones that I genuinely looked forward to going to: the ones that I actually was low-key disappointed when they were cancelled. That’s precisely the kind of classroom environment that I try to build. I want my students to walk away from my courses a better writer, but more importantly, a better, more well- informed human and thinker. To me, that’s the objective. That’s more than any course evaluation can capture.
To past, present, and future students: I see you. I admire you. I remember each of you. I value you. You teach me. Thank you for allowing me to do the work that I so love. I hope taking a class of mine can allow you one day, to say the very same.