Teaching with Words
By Ashley Pond
I always thought that I would be a high school English teacher after I finished college.
I’m a senior at Westfield State University, and one semester shy of graduation, I decided that teaching—with the core competency requirements in this day and age—wouldn’t be satisfying. I want to teach people something special, because they want to learn rather than because they have to.
I have always liked to write, and I realized that I can educate through my writing, reaching people of all ages with my words and help them through good times or bad. So, I changed my major to English, rather than education.
As I deepen my journey as a writer, I want to try different writing styles and explore the various careers in which I could use my degree. That’s what led me into my current internship at Beetle Press, where I’ll write press releases and blogs, copy edit client manuscripts, and raise awareness about the company through social media —all while keeping my studies organized and on track.
My favorite genre to write about is creative nonfiction. I’ve written short stories that I could expand into a novel one day and journal entries that could become a memoir.
I am also very passionate about my work in the Westfield State University English honor society, Sigma Tau Delta. My role in the honor society is to help raise money for our annual convention each spring.
Members also like to help others in the wider community in various way. For instance, we are collecting items to donate to refugee families in the Westfield area.
We also use our English skills to assist others; we tutor English majors at the university, helping them with midterm and final papers. In this way, Sigma members develop relationships through their writing skills, and we encourage others to grow as well.
After graduation, I’d like to work for a book publishing company or focus on my own writing project. In my spare time, I’d also like to find a way to continue to be helpful in the community, outside of my honor society group. It’s important to me to be kind, caring and compassionate and to spread goodwill to everyone I meet.
My support system is my family. My mother is always finding new ways to help encourage me, even when I’m uncertain of my direction, and she assures me that I’ll know it when I find the right path.
My two sisters, Samantha, 19, and Cameron, 8, both help me develop as a writer, too. Samantha passes on writing tips from her teachers. (She’s an engineering major and doesn’t realize that I may already know these things.) And Cameron asks me to read my writing to her, even if it is just my homework, after she has curled up with her favorite blanket.
I hope one day, I can read my own book to her, even if she’s already heard all the stories a million times.