University of Arkansas Grantham English professor, Greg Gildersleeve, has spent almost two decades teaching in higher education – nearly 10 of those years with UA Grantham. He has published several novels and comic books and enjoys sharing his love of writing with his students. We recently had a chance to ask Prof. Gildersleeve about his passion for teaching.
In my misguided youth, I wanted to be a rock star or a comic book writer. Failing to have musical talent and struggling for years to write without having an artist to draw my stories, I was persuaded by my mother to go to college. There, I discovered I had many other interests and could even take a scholarly approach to comics and to writing in general. After completing my master's, I worked as an obituary representative at a newspaper. When that job reached its level of satisfaction, I began to look for something else. One of my former professors of English, who has since become a chair, was hiring adjunct instructors. I jumped at the chance and have been teaching ever since.
Being able to pass on what I've learned, including my nerdy love of writing and the English language in general. Just yesterday, I replied to a student's discussion post by sharing a bit of the history of the English language. I did so to explain why the English language can be so confusing and challenging. Many students think that texting makes it difficult for people to write the "correct" way, but the English language has always been thorny and has always adapted to changes in society. Helping students to see language and writing in a new way has been one of the highlights of teaching.
At UA Grantham, we are dedicated to helping our online degree students succeed. I feel that dedication all the way from top administration down. Such devotion wasn't always evident in every institution at which I've taught, but UA Grantham puts students first. I've been a part of several course revisions where our first priority was: "How do we make this better/easier/more accessible/more engaging for our students?"