Shannon Philpott-Sanders

Writing, Reflecting, Teaching, Parenting

Why I’m a Selfish Teacher

Before I was a parent, I never bought into the line “this hurts me more than you.” If I was getting grounded or disciplined, how in the world did it pain my mom more than me? But, as an instructor, the phrase bears a hint of truth. It does hurt me when a student fails, which is why I continue to be a selfish teacher.

My agenda is selfish – I want to grow and learn, too, and failure is not an option. Continue reading


December 9, 2009 Posted by | Blog, Journalism, Teaching, Writing | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m Young, Not Dumb

 As a college instructor, I’m relatively young compared to my peers. I don’t have 20+ years experience teaching nor have I been in the journalism field that long. However, just because I’m young, it does not mean that I’m dumb.

 Academia can be an intimidating environment for newcomers. Ironically, in an industry that is supposed to foster fresh, new learning opportunities, the practices at some colleges and universities often discourage any type of change. The ideology of “that’s not how we do it” stops innovation in its tracks and stalls progress for both faculty and students. Continue reading

December 4, 2009 Posted by | Blog, Journalism, Teaching | , , , , | 1 Comment

California Dreaming

I rarely remember my dreams, but once in a great while, I wake up vividly recalling the night’s events. The scene is clear, my thoughts are still wandering, and the “lesson” or moral of the story hits me smack dab in the face.

 Last night’s lesson was about “what ifs.”  In my dream, I was an eager 18-year old heading off to college in California, thousands of miles away from my southern Illinois family. As I toured my new campus and dormitory, my heart was beating fast as my newfound freedom excited me and the pressures of being alone overwhelmed me.

 It was a new culture, a new society, and a new environment. My typical routine, sayings, and even my wardrobe did not match the “norm,” but I didn’t care. I was living the life I always wanted … or so I thought. Continue reading

November 21, 2009 Posted by | Blog, Reflecting | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

If the Shoe Fits

shoeMy work as a freelance writer gives me the opportunity to meet interesting and insightful people. Whether I am having a conversation with the average “Joe,” interviewing an event organizer, or talking with experts in various fields, the people become more than just sources – they become very human during an interview.

 Even though as a journalist my job is to stay objective, there is something personal about each interview I conduct. The information this person is sharing usually contains personal experiences, feelings, beliefs, and advice. Almost always after an interview, I reflect and compare my personal experiences and try and put myself in the subject’s shoes.

 Today, the shoes fit, but at the same time, the shoes made me uncomfortable – comparable to the perfect looking shoe in a narrow fit when I need wide-toed shoes. Continue reading

August 27, 2009 Posted by | Blog, Parenting, Reflecting, Writing | , , , , , , | Leave a comment