Dr. Michelle Parrinello-Cason

Dr. Michelle Parrinello-Cason

Dr. Michelle Parrinello-Cason has a Ph.D. in English with an emphasis on rhetoric and composition. She has more than a decade of teaching experience including six years as a college English professor. She has designed workshops and classes for elementary, middle, and high school students and is a homeschooling mom of two.

Her passions include pop culture, moral philosophy, essay writing, and reading skills. She designs classes that take a multi-disciplinary, integrated reading-writing approach to make sure learners have context and purpose for everything they create.

During her time as an English professor, Michelle specialized in teaching “developmental” writing, which means she was working with the students who had been deemed unprepared for college-level writing. In that work, she formed a teaching philosophy deeply centered on trust.

She believes that students learn best when they know that their instructor genuinely trusts them to do well. She works hard to avoid assignments and classroom dynamics that create antagonistic power structures. Instead, she wants learners to see her as a supportive guide who genuinely aims to help them reach their own goals.

Michelle is the founder of Dayla Learning, a place for “homeschooling the humanities with humanity,” and the co-founder of SEA Online Classes, a platform for hands-on, engaging online classes.

August 28, 2021
12:30pm EDT/9:30am PDT

Writing is Easier When You Have Something to Say: Approaches for Contextualizing Writing Assignments

As a long-time English instructor, I know how important the writing prompt is to getting powerful, effective, and meaningful final products from students. Believe it or not, but how well the prompt is written can even determine whether the writer is interested enough to proofread well and polish it up for a final draft. Vague writing prompts that are disconnected from any context will rarely produce good work — and, if they do, it’s nearly a certainty that a better writing prompt would have gotten an even better response. One element of creating a great writing assignment is making sure that the writer has something to say. Contextualizing writing is the most important thing facilitators can do to get the best writing from their learners. In this presentation, I’ll go over specific, actionable ways to contextualize writing. From literature to films, from looking at problems in your own community to business communication, creating real reasons to say something well will produce better writing all around.