Teaching Excellence Awards

 Year Awarded: 2005

Faculty Award winner

Terry Thaxton

 College of Arts and Sciences

 English

I am a teacher of creative writing, dedicated to UCF, its students, and our community. I am poet and essayist. My teaching, research, and service converge on writing a rigorous discipline and as an impetus for social change.

My first priority is creating an atmosphere in which students want to learn the craft of writing. I want each student to not only learn the techniques of creative writing, but to develop self-confidence as a writer and to understand how writing connects us. I accomplish this by incorporating service into course requirements.

Discovering one’s voice is powerful. I require students to take their classroom knowledge into the community. Art as service is vital for culture, community, and learning. When students apply their knowledge in the community and see one other person discover his/her voice, they have learned not only the techniques of craft, but have discovered the power of communication. Teaching keeps my writing fresh; writing keeps my teaching honest. I write because I have to. I teach because I know what language can do. Language educates and enlightens; language connects us.