Over the summer, we spoke with Ted Daisher, a 2015 graduate of DePaul’s BA in WRD program. While at DePaul, he worked as a Peer Writing Tutor and Head Writing Fellow at the University Center for Writing-based Learning. Soon, he will be heading to China to teach English at Huaqiao University.
What have you been doing since you earned your degree?
Since graduating, I’ve had an internship with a publisher and done a bit of freelance book editing. At the beginning of September, I’ll be heading over to Quanzhou, a city on the southeast coast of China, to teach English for a year or maybe more at Huaqiao University.
How did your education from DePaul influence what you will be doing?
My education at DePaul, and specifically my education within the WRD department, encouraged me to explore possibilities and follow opportunities. Teaching abroad seemed like a great way to do both. I found out about DePaul’s connection to Huaqiao, pursued the opportunity to teach that the WRD department provided, and was lucky enough to get a position.
What were the most helpful courses you took in WRD?
The most helpful courses I took were Genre and Discourse and Rhetoric and Public Writing. Genre and Discourse required me to situate myself in a new way of thinking, a particularly abstract one, which required a lot of genuine reflection on and reconsideration of what I understood about writing. Rhetoric and Public Writing required applying the reflective and critical thinking skills I had internalized in previous WRD courses. Both courses introduced me to and helped me develop cognitive muscles that I think will be helpful for going into teaching.
What advice would you give to a WRD student who would one day like to work in a job like yours?
Get experience. Having worked with English Language Learners at the University Center for Writing-based Learning, and having gotten a chance to apply the skills I was developing in the WRD program was critical to me being able to teach abroad. Consider volunteering as an English as a Second Language tutor in Chicago, either on your own or through WRD 378, and applying to work as a Peer Writing Tutor at the University Center for Writing-based Learning.