English 833: Composition Theory — Your Teacher Story

My Teacher History

The goal of this assignment is to explore in some depth your experiences with and ideas about teaching.

This Teacher Story should explain some of the origins of Your Teaching Vision Statement.

For this story, focus on yourself in the role of teacher. If you have done some professional teaching, that will be easy. You can write about some of the interesting experiences you have had as a teacher. If you have not worked as a professional teacher yet, there are two other kinds of teaching experiences about which you can write. These experiences are also valuable to write about even if you have worked as a professional teacher. One type of experience would be times that you were called upon to teach something outside of school, like teaching someone how to play a game. You might also have had to sometimes teach other students in school, like teaching another student how to use a piece of lab equipment. In these experiences, you had to assume the role of teacher without the trappings/blessings of the position.

In addition to your own experiences as a teacher, all teachers are heavily influenced by other teachers they have known, both good and bad. So you might want to write about important teachers in your life. Again, these can be professional teachers, particularly role models, but they might also be non-professional teachers like parents or family members.

The key here is to try to unpack the important events that have shaped your inner beliefs about teaching, events contained in the stories of your life.


Your  Teacher Story should be truthful, personal, and meaningful, but also keep in mind that it will be shared with the other class members and also will be posted on the Internet. So as you do your writing please bear in mind that it will be used in a public forum.

Key Teacher Questions

Your Teacher Story should explore the act of teaching based on your own personal life history. As you try to capture your teacher stories in words, do your best to answer these key questions with the stories you tell:

  • What does it meant to you to be a good teacher?
  • Why is teaching important?
  • What in your view is a bad teacher?
  • Where did your ideas about teaching come from?
  • Who and what shaped your views of teaching?

Your Earliest Teacher Memory

To help you get started writing Your Teacher Story, see if you can recall a foundational teacher memory. What’s one of the earliest memories you have of teaching someone? Or, alternatively, what’s the earliest memory you have of watching someone teach? Try to recall all the details you can about whatever early memory you pick. Writing about this early memory can often jog other important teaching memories that you have.

Other Teacher Memories

From your earliest memory of being a teacher, move on through some of the key stories of your life. Select teacher-related events from your life which you feel helped you define for yourself what good teaching means.

Paper Guidelines

  • This paper should be 4-6 pages in length.
  • This paper should be in a 12 point font, double-spaced.