• My Travel Writing Class and Their Work: Feeling Like a Proud Momma

    * Wow. It’s hard to believe we have come to the end of another semester. My group of writers in our travel writing class published their stories today on our WordPress site called MORE THAN MARYLAND that I set up as a place to house of all of my All-Star Travelers who have taken the course at Stevenson University. As the students made some of their final presentations in class, a lot was discussed, such as what they learned from taking a travel writing course, which pieces from renowned travel writers were their favorites, how this course has helped them see travel differently, and what they will take with them…

  • 8 Things Teachers Enjoy During Summer Break

    *** Yesterday, students at Stevenson University celebrated their graduation at our ceremonies in Maryland. As a professor in the department of Business Communication, I was thrilled to see our graduates walk across the stage and receive their diplomas. They worked hard the last four years, and it paid off. As for my colleagues and me, that means we are done teaching until August (unless some are teaching a summer course). While we certainly have preparations to make for the Fall 2017 semester (and I will be teaching a newly created course as well that requires a lot of work), we are free to do some things we want to do…

  • Sharing Something Sweet: A Reward That Comes From Teaching

    Yesterday, I popped onto my Instagram feed to take a peek at what was going on when I came across this: The Instagram post was written by a former student who was also one of the co-presidents of our public relations club that I advise and someone I mentored during her college years. During that time and afterwards, we became friends. I am always so touched when someone takes the time to write something heartwarming like this. It’s the best reward one can get from being a teacher. I am full of gratitude, and it brought a tear to my eye. It means the world to me. Thank you so…

  • In Honor of Teacher Appreciation Week & A Thank You to My Students

    In the laundry room on Pointer Ridge Drive in Bowie, Maryland, where I grew up, my parents hung my large blackboard I got for Christmas. The laundry room was a good size, and the perfect place for me to set up my schoolroom. My aunt had given me a grade book she used when she was a teacher, and at the age of eight, I began practicing to be a teacher by writing on the board, planning lessons, and marking the imagined students’ grades in my grade book. Mrs. Schuman and Ms. Cosby were my fourth grade teachers, and I watched how they conducted the class. I wanted to be…

  • Pride of the … Teacher (not Yankees)

    The last few weeks I have been watching my students step it up. From making public relations crisis communication plans in public relations class to making pitches in advertising, they have come a long way over the course of the semester. When you witness their growth as they go into high drive and succeed at real-world application exercises, there’s a sense of pride that comes with it. I think to myself these thoughts: I taught them how to do it, but even greater, they learned from it. In the magazine writing class, we’ve put our magazine online. It’s only the second semester we’ve taken it to a new level and…

  • A Belated Thanks to Mrs. S—

    Today I found a letter from 1982. It is from my high school creative writing teacher, Mrs. S—. I was extremely fond of her, though admittedly, a little intimidated as well. She was kind enough to write me a recommendation letter to go along with my college application forms and essays. I have retyped it with my own comments regarding this particular letter in parentheses and italicized them. The letter reads as follows: Gentleman: (Notice the formality of the salutation! I love it!) Miss Stephanie Parrillo (maiden name) has distinguished herself as a serious and conscientious student who performs excellently. (Perception is everything.) Academically, Stephanie earns above average grades. (My…