Hello! I’m Erika Romero, an English Studies PhD candidate at Illinois State University. After falling in love with teaching undergraduate courses my first three years in the PhD program, I decided to start a blog devoted to my academic experiences. In 2018, I shifted my blog’s focus specifically to teaching tips, tools, and resources for grad students or other individuals new to teaching college courses. More generally, I’d say my blog is for any college instructor looking to find new ideas and resources to use in their classrooms.
So, what type of college courses do I teach? My area of specialization is children’s and young adult literature (ChYALit), and I have a particular interest in this field’s connection to pedagogy (obviously!), new media adaptations, and fandom. You can see descriptions of all the courses I’ve taught in my “Teach” section. I’ve taught a few different versions of literature courses with the same designated course number, along with a few different versions of first year composition courses, as well.
I’ve created this website not just for my teaching tips-related blog, but also as a platform to share my experiences in other aspects of my academic life. I’ve described each category of my main navigation menu below, so you can get a better sense of what’s on this site.
As for the domain name of this website, “Ever Educating”? Well, it’s inspired by the fact that I can never seem to stop thinking about teaching, talking about teaching, or creating new ideas to apply to my teaching! So, you’ll find me across the Internet using this same name. Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest. I’m there and I’m talking about teaching!
I hope my tips, tools, and resources help you on your teaching journey. I’d love to read about your own ideas and suggestions in the comments of my blog posts, too! If you want to make sure not to miss out on any new posts and videos, you can sign up to receive my email newsletter. Joining the list will also give you access to my resource library.
A Bit More About This Site
My academic drive definitely stems from my love of teaching, so it’s hardly surprising that my dissertation is pedagogical in nature. But, while I have plenty of pages to fill now that I’m writing my dissertation, I also want a less academic outlet for writing about and discussing pedagogical practices, resources, experiences, etc. After a year of posting, then, I finally found my blog’s niche. As I mentioned above, rather than simply posting about various topics connected to my experiences as a reader, writer, teacher, student, and fan, my blog posts after August 10th, 2018 focuses on the following content:
- course design advice and practices
- class activities designs and experiences
- reviews of books and other texts that would fit well into the English Studies college classroom
- tools and resources that work well for teaching/assessing/organizing
- other advice for the college instructor
As more types of related content are suggested/requested via any post discussions, these ideas will also be incorporated in future posts. While not all of my blog posts in the past year have included content connected to this new focus (though many are relevant, especially June/July 2018), all of my posts will remain archived on my blog. I welcome you to see the journey I’ve been through to get to this point in my blogging life. Or, you can read more about my journey here.
The main page for this section includes a list of my past work experience tied to teaching. The subpages under this section include descriptions of the courses I’ve taught (i.e. course goals, booklists, assignments, etc.) and resources I’ve found and created for them, along with a description of my current teaching philosophy on the last subpage.
The main page for this section lists the non-teaching academic work I’ve done that doesn’t fit neatly into the “conferences” or “publications” subpages. As the titles suggest, the first two subpages include an annotated list of the conference presentations I’ve given and my work that has been published. The final subpage includes an informal research statement.
On this page, I provide access to the various, completed, creative projects I work on during my personal time. Whenever I feel like the project is worth sharing, I’ll add it to the list. If you use any of them, I’d love to hear from you about how they work out and/or if you experience any issues. You can use Twitter, the contact form on my sidebar, and/or a comment on the blog posts that I’ll likely write in connection to each project.