Both Sides: The Classroom From Where I Stand

Date of Award

January 2018

Degree Type

Closed Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


English and Theatre

First Advisor

Carter Sickels

Department Affiliation

English and Theatre

Second Advisor

R. Dean Johnson

Department Affiliation

English and Theatre


This thesis is collection of personal essays that explore many facets of teaching from the perspective of a teacher and student. Each essay uses elements of literary craft to present and discuss pertinent issues in public education, including school violence, teacher burnout and turnover, and the lack of funding for quality education. The essays also highlight positives within education, including teacher-student relationships, benefits of quality instruction, and the role of a welcoming classroom environment. While most essays are narrative, the collection includes two braided essays and a list essay. The collection is not linear, but the essays loosely follow the writer from early childhood experiences in education to her time in the classroom now, more than fifteen years after becoming a teacher.

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