Major Monday: Amanda McMahon

For most people, an English major equates to the good old “Oh, so you want to be a teacher huh?” For some the answer is no, but for Amanda McMahon it’s a “Yes, yes I am.”

Amanda is a senior, majoring in English with a concentration in teaching licensure. While the concentration can be strenuous and time consuming, Amanda still manages to work in the Writing Center, act as the treasurer for EFFECT‑ Elon’s women’ club, and be an active member in the English Honor Society. She also stayed at Elon this past summer working as a counselor for Elon Academy, and is now a Teaching Assistant at a local high school.

Although she’s a busy gal, I finally managed to sit down with Amanda and ask how she does what she does and why, from her teaching licensure concentration to her research to her involvement with Elon Academy.

So, why an English major?

“Well, to be honest I didn’t always want to study English. Growing up I went through so many career phases like being an architect or a psychologist. However, I really enjoyed English classes in high school and always had a love for reading and writing, so once I got to college it just seemed like a natural fit.”

Are you currently involved in a research project?

“Yes I am! I’m doing undergrad research with Professor Patch on creative writing pedagogy in high school English classes.”

How would you describe your research?

“It’s basically like flipping the classroom writing agenda, so we’re switching the writing from academic to creative, which takes pressure off of students and helps them to enjoy writing.”

What led you to form an interest in that?

“I took a class with Professor Patch my junior year called “Writing Studies,” and it got me interested in composition and the teaching of writing. For our final project we had to focus on one aspect of teaching writing, and I chose creative writing pedagogy and decided to stick with it.”

What are you planning on doing with your research?

“I plan on publishing a blog on NCTE, but I don’t think I’m going to publically publish any official research.”

Lastly, how was Elon Academy?

“It was the best job experience I’ve had thus far! I loved the mission of it, which is to make college more accessible to students who are first-generation or of low-income families. I’m also very appreciative for the leadership opportunity and connections it has given me with both students and staff. Overall it was a very rewarding and enriching experience.”

How did you find out about Elon Academy?

“My academic advisor was part of the administrative faculty for Elon Academy and recommended it to me. I applied and did not get it the first time, but waited and applied again the next year and was accepted.”

Thank you, Amanda, for sharing your research and Elon Academy experience with us, as well as showing us what good time management looks like! Good luck and enjoy the rest of your senior year!

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