Finding uncommon ways to help students succeed is one of the commitments Dr. Kristin Redfield, Writing Program Coordinator at Forsyth Tech, makes to her students. In keeping with her teaching philosophy, when she submitted her proposal for a presentation at the NC Conference of English Instructors this past October, she had an idea for a unique presentation – bring a student who had been through the experience.
“The topic ‘But I Don’t Like Reading Stuff from Dead People!’ seemed to require a student’s perspective, plus I wanted to give a student a real-life presentation experience,” said Redfield. “I called the conference coordinator and asked if a Forsyth Tech student could present at the conference with me. She agreed.”
“It’s not often that arts and humanities students get to present to a group outside of their peers; it’s usually science, math and technology students who have those presentation opportunities,” said Redfield.
She thought about who would be a good candidate to discuss this unusual topic and then remembered Nick Vetrone from her American Literature class. Redfield knew he had critical thinking skills and enjoyed reading a variety of literature from both living and non-living authors.
Vetrone is currently a second-year College Transfer student, planning to graduate in the fall of 2018 and transfer to a four-year university.
“I thought I wanted to go into teaching, and having this real-life experience confirmed it for me. Having the chance to see first-hand if this is what I want to do with my career was inspiring,” said Vetrone. “I enjoyed the opportunity to explain our ideas and connect with educators outside of the college.”
Vetrone said he enjoyed working with Dr. Redfield to develop the presentation. He reports that she has a great teaching style, is student-driven, and likes to moderate a student-generated discussion.
Redfield said they composed the presentation together. “I was impressed that Nick was not afraid to share his ideas on the presentation and kept asking about rehearsals,” she chuckled.
In addition to the presentation, Dr. Redfield shared the participation guidelines that students use in the course to assess each other.
“Getting students to read and participate focuses on the innovative ways to make early American literature engaging, exciting, and relevant to today’s students,” said Anu Williams, Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences Division. “Opportunities like this one are just one more way that Forsyth Tech is preparing students of today for the workplace of tomorrow.”
Photo Caption: Dr. Kristin Redfield and Nick Vetrone sharing their presentation.