#TeachMeYouDid is a mashup of Star Wars and teacher appreciation, where people are encouraged to recognize the educators who made a difference in their lives and “woke up the Force in them.”

I entered graduate school in 2006 envisioning myself as a Writer/Teacher/Scholar. Ten years on I envision myself as more of a Teacher/Scholar/Writer, though the slashes between those categories are now very porous. But teaching has become an important part of my identity, and I reflect—a lot—on different types of teaching practices and pedagogy is a central component of my research. Teaching has become a priority because I know when I came to college I felt I was of average ability and that school really wasn’t my thing. That was the message I’d had reinforced through most of my K-12 years, unfortunately, and I’d come to believe it. My experience at UW-Madison as an undergrad, and especially at UW-Milwaukee as a graduate student, helped me realize that my off-kilter way of looking at things was a bonus, not a negative.

This is not an exhaustive list, but here are the names that come off the top of my head as teachers who had a major part in helping me become who I am today. Sadly some of them are no longer with us.

  • John Moeller, English and Fiction, Green Bay Southwest High School
  • Prof. Paul Boyer, American Culture and History, UW-Madison
  • Prof. Bruce Burgett, American Literature, UW-Madison
  • Prof. Lynn Keller, American Literature, UW-Madison
  • Prof. Mimi Schippers, Women’s Studies, UW-Madison
  • Prof. Steve Slack, Integrated Liberal Studies, UW-Madison
  • Prof. Liam Callanan, Fiction Writing, UW-Milwaukee
  • Prof. Dave Clark, Professional Writing, UW-Milwaukee
  • Prof. Lane Hall, Visual Studies and Creative Writing, UW-Milwaukee
  • Prof. Stuart Moulthrop, New Media and Games, UW-Milwaukee
  • Prof. Pete Sands, Science Fiction Literature, UW-Milwaukee
  • Prof. Michael Wilson, Native American Literature, UW-Milwaukee
  • Prof. Anne Wysocki, Rhetoric and New Media, UW-Milwaukee

Lots of guys in there, but that’s more of a reflection of the imbalance in the number of male to female faculty in higher education.

For what it’s worth, thank you very much.

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