English Education at Steinhardt

Why NYU Steinhardt?

"Who is your hero?"

I remember seven names on seven different sheets of crumpled paper: Chimamanda Adichie, Ocean Vuong, Martha Johnson, Alan Turing, Emily Dickinson, Toni Morrison, and James Baldwin. Each name belonged to an incredible human being who has impacted and changed me, yet it was the eighth sheet of paper with the name Jeff Symonds that I turned in to my teacher the next day. Jeff Symonds was my sophomore English teacher and the first person to teach me that English class was not simply the study of words, but instead the study of humanity. I have always found my home within the spines of novels, but, because of Jeff, I am able to transcend beyond the tangible world of letters. Now, English class is metaphysical world in which everything and anything exists, where limits have no meaning and my imagination is all that matters.

English has always been a passion of mine, but until Jeff taught me, I hadn’t fully realized my other passion: teaching. After an assignment where we had to design and teach a lesson, Jeff asked me to stay behind after class. “You were in your element,” he said, “Have you ever thought about teaching?” By sophomore year, I had already tutored at a local program for three years, but until Jeff...

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