Hi there! My name is Soula Siegfried and I will be spending my summer here at TT Patton teaching the creative writing camps for 4th-7th graders. If you haven’t already taken a look at the camps, I invite you to read over the descriptions and talk to your kids about how they can expand their creativity at TT Patton this summer!
Here’s a little about me: I am currently a graduate student at Northern Illinois University in the English department studying Literature and Professional Writing. I also teach Rhetoric and Composition (required writing courses for all incoming students) to college freshmen as part of my program. Teaching has been the biggest growth opportunity for me both personally and professionally. I truly enjoy the feeling when I see a student “gets it” and can then reproduce the skills they learn in my class in their other classes and beyond.
I am really excited to be teaching this grade level and these classes for a number of reasons. First, I find it crucially important to student success, in all facets of life, to be able to communicate properly and efficiently. I emphasize to my students that writing skills are necessary for any job they might pursue, no matter their major. I find the same to be true for students of all levels, in part, because writing is an exercise in thinking. And when we can get our kids to think through their ideas on paper through writing, we are helping them to expand both their communication skills and creative abilities.
Secondly, I find that the more we can encourage kids to express themselves creatively and find an outlet where they feel understood, the better off they will be in many areas of their lives. I really want to encourage students of all ages (parents too!) to actually pick up a pen and write on paper. Recent research supports the idea that the tactile experience of ink onto the page is necessary for learning, and activates certain areas of the brain which are not active while doing similar activities, such as typing on a computer to form words. It may be old-fashioned, but I just love the feeling of a pen in hand, scrawling across a page. All of these concepts come together for our students when they learn how to use a fountain pen and decorate a beautiful journal that represents their personal aesthetic.
I am so looking forward to meeting all the students who sign up for our camps and taking this journey together to foster creativity in a fun space at TT Patton. If your child shows interest in writing stories, poetry, or screenplays, sign them up for a camp this summer where they can let their ideas flow. Come “write under the stairs” with us!
Soula received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in English and Rhetoric, with a minor in Creative Writing. She will graduate next spring with her Master’s Degree from NIU. She currently resides in McHenry with her husband, and mutt pup, Benny.