by Martie Gonzalez
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Amy Locklear, a senior lecturer in English at AUM, for an interview. She’s been teaching at AUM since 2003 after earning her master’s degree from Auburn University. Locklear is currently pursuing her Ph.D at Old Dominion University.
Locklear said she fell into teaching quite by accident. As a young military wife, while she and her husband were stationed in North Dakota, she was looking for a part time job and found an adjunct position teaching and fell in love with the work. She says that she loves to help students become better communicators.
Locklear said the biggest challenge she faces as a teacher is “making classes relevant to what the student wants and needs and maintaining the student’s attention.” She said that “Older students were taught to read every word and find the meaning in what they read, but today’s students have learned to skim over their material, rather than to dissect it and find what’s meaningful and relevant.”
When asked about what other career path she might have pursued other than teaching writing, she had to pause and consider. Ultimately, her answer was “teaching science fiction literature or some other form of communications.” She said it might be interesting to teach on a smaller scale, like writing workshops, geared towards those that are most vulnerable and to give those communicators a voice. Teens and stay at home moms would be her target audience, as she would like to help give them tools to feel valued. She said too many people think that they need a four-year degree to write and to communicate, and they don’t.
Her teaching philosophy is centered around rhetoric. There are basics to every mode of communication, and she sees her role as helping students find and use them in a variety of ways and through a variety of modes of delivery. Ultimately, the end goal is helping students discover and claim their own authority in their writing so students feels like they have value in what they put out.
My interview with Amy Locklear only confirmed what I knew about her from my own experiences in her class: she cares deeply about her students’ success. It’s clear that teaching is her passion. She wants each student to walk away with a foundation in communication and in a better place than when they started. Beyond being just a job, she sees teaching as a personal challenge to make sure all her students do their absolute best and find their voices in this world.