Hello from the Hiatus

Hello, friends.

It’s been quite a while since my last blog post. A year and four months, to be exact. Why so long? An excellent question. Mostly because the last time I tried to use WordPress, it was in a downloadable file format that was incompatible with my old computer. So what is a technologically challenged girl like myself to do? Obviously, abandon the project for an unknown length of time and hope that it will right itself again. Also, get a new computer, quit Twitter for a mental health break after some trolls dislike one tweet and flood your DMs with some unsavory words, reevaluate your goals, make a new Twitter and thus some new friends, and of course drown yourself in studies. You know, the usual. Oh, and get married and go off to New Zealand on your honeymoon. You know, small things.

Thankfully, taking that break gave me the opportunity to use the time that I needed to launch the new goals that I had begun working on, specifically the goals that pertain directly to the content of this blog. In my initial post in Sept. 2017, I discussed my distaste with the attitudes toward fantasy literature in the academic setting, and my desire to use fantasy literature in my own classroom. I also discussed my newer position as a reading teacher in Brooklyn, and my new focus in literacy rather than the general ELA classroom. While, sadly, I am no longer in that particular position, I am continuing to work in the literacy setting (I currently work at an Early Childhood Literacy Enrichment program in NYC). In addition to my coursework at Signum University, I also decided to take some additional coursework with the University of New England in order to obtain a Literacy certification for New York State (I am currently certified in English Language Arts). Thanks to those courses, I am better versed in the science involved in literacy development, and thus can better understand how I can engage students in their own reading development. Someday, I will be able to fully and critically link reading development and fantasy literature, hopefully in the form of a PhD dissertation.

In keeping this blog, my hope is to use the platform as a way to flesh out my ideas while engaging in dialogue with my peers and colleagues, both in the Fantasy Literature/Signum world and in the education field. Thus far, I’ve written a few posts that I’ve called Teacher Features- these posts highlight some teachers in the fantasy literature genre that I’ve found are case studies on what a teacher should be, and how we as teachers can better understand our students. It’s essential to learn from each other, and to learn from our heroes in our stories. Thus far, I’ve focused on Hogwarts teachers from the Harry Potter universe, but I will certainly be expanding my repertoire to include teachers from other texts, and from some of our favorite Fantasy Literature authors whose alter egos include the teacher role (ahem, Tolkien and Lewis, perhaps?).

I also plan on exploring different avenues in which teachers use technology, social media, and other non-traditional settings in which to teach their content. In not-so-recent years, the classroom is no longer confined to the cramped, dusty rooms with squeaky chalkboards and droning voices reminiscent of the adults in Charlie Brown. Teachers all over the world use technology to engage, to share information, to teach students, and to teach teachers. We are no longer trapped in our classroom bubbles, and we can teach anyone and everyone thanks to the powers of technology. This very blog is one such example, and I can’t wait to reach out to my fellow teachers to discuss their avenues.

My sincerest thanks to my friends in Signum University and the Twitterverse who have continually inspired me to write, and who teach me new lessons every day. Without you, I would not have the courage to pursue my goals and remember that I have ideas that are worth worth writing.

Author: Elise TC

Fantasy Literature Scholar and Literacy Educator MA: Teachers College Columbia University and Signum University

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