Hello, everyone. My name is Nicholas Monroe. This is my first semester in the English graduate program. I have my BA in English Education, and my original intent was to get a single-subject teaching credential in English (to make a long story short, I got a touch of cold feet). I also have my substitute-teaching credential which I have yet to use. I’ve spent the last eight years working at a family-owned coffee house in Paradise, and am very much looking forward to begin only working Saturdays there. I am in the creative writing tract with a focus on poetry.
As far as teaching writing is concerned, I’ve always been (and continue to be) perplexed in terms of moving from theory into practice. I’ve read countless books and essays on literacy, and still feel completely lost on how that translates specifically to the classroom.
I really love Dewey’s inquiry-based approach to learning. The notion that the child’s natural curiosity is at the center of her education, and drives the facilitation of that education is simply wonderful. I appreciate that Dewey is careful to state that curiosity isn’t enough, however. The student must be guided in their curiosity to create a larger meaning. I love that the inquiry method is holistic. That the student is able to glean knowledge and discipline in a multitude of dynamic ways, compared to simple, static facts. Teaching writing can certainly utilize this approach. When the student is given a voice, and cares about what she has to say, teaching becomes more about how to specifically communicate that voice as clearly as possible, instead of just filling in a cookie-cutter formula-based essay.