English faculty members must shape students to appreciate ideas and motivate them to write words that effectively communicate their own opinions and passions. Effective academic communication will not only help students do well in all other classes but also arm them with the power to defend themselves and to promote their own purposes.
While I respect all the positive reasons for why an English department exists, I would also inject both exploration and self-responsibility as necessary aspects of the English class. Because the English composition class includes a potpourri of subjects (race, law, economics, philosophy, etc.), both students and instructors have the opportunity to transform themselves into modern day renaissance scholars. The English instructor should be bound to explore new topics and constantly read new material and arguments so that students survey a myriad of subjects that will allow them to evolve as both thinkers and writers. English should also shape students’ independent minds. Students should write not only for their professors but most importantly for themselves, for their own human advancement.
At City, the instructor identity is of one who is intellectual, academic, and multi-talented. Appreciating that identity, I would also like to include a trait that should be essential to being an English instructor—that of being a practicing writer. As an English instructor I should not only teach but also act with my students. I write fiction, non-fiction, philosophies. An English instructor, especially, should hold the ethos of writer because writers challenge themselves and prove their gumption. Writers take a stance that is both introspective and for an audience. Additionally, I want to carry an ethos that is somewhat shocking and even controversial. I want to be so objective that I argue against even my own beliefs. By being a thinker and writer example, I believe I will constantly trigger new ideas from myself and students.
Sometimes English classes trigger the feeling of boredom. Because English is a general requirement, students may feel it is a chore more than an adventure. Also, they can feel confined by the academic essay formula that they feel stifles their individuality and creativity. I desire to trigger passion; through my genuine excitement, I want to spread enthusiasm. Due to the classroom’s engaging discussions and analyses of thought-provoking texts, hopefully students will want to write and assert their ideas. By sharing my own writing and my struggles with writing, I hope to create empathy, which will trigger students to more gamely approach their own writing.