“Teaching is performed in generosity; learning is accomplished in joy.” -Louise Cowan, PhD

Aurelia Ann VonTress

Excerpts from Student Evaluations

To me, the best indicator of my success as an instructor is how my students respond to my teaching. I hope this doesn't seem like boasting, but I wanted to share some of my students' feedback. 

Here are a few student evaluations that have meant the most to me:

"By far the best aspect, and what I wish could be emulated to every other class that I’ve taken or will take on this campus, is the sense of community and class friendship that I have only experienced in classes taught by Kaitlyn Willy. The openness between the people and how well I got to know everyone helped tremendously in absorbing the content simply because I enjoyed my time. Not only is this conducive to learning in the sense that happier students lead to better grades, I was also more willing to ask questions both to my classmates and my instructors because even though Ms. Willy was our instructor she was also our friend and we could treat the relationship as such. It was an absolute pleasure be a part of that class, if I could take more with her I would!"

“Professor Willy made the everything easier on us though, because she did not approach us like she was there to intimidate. It made me happy to know that she took actual interest in our lives and worried if we seemed off or came to class a little ill. Not a lot of professors take the time to show they care like she did, and because of this I was able to enjoy the course more.” 

“You are without a doubt one of the most engaging and interesting teachers I’ve had the pleasure to meet so far in my college career, and I mean that whole heartedly. You always came to class with a positive disposition, even when things didn’t go according to your plans or the class was just in a “don’t want to do anything” mood. You are a teacher who sees her teaching as more of a passion, and it is clear to see. I hope that you get your chance to teach that Literature class you want, and that for all of your other classes I wish you the best of luck. Thank you for the memorable Semester, Ms. Willy.” 

“Over the course of this semester’s work in English 1320, I became more comfortable with accepting the views and opinions of others. This influenced my writing process to become more lenient and experimental. Exploring ideas and points of view gradually became more important to me than saying, “I am right. These facts support why I am right. Every other opinion is invalid.” I believe that the source of this evolution in my writing originates from the social activities we did as a class. Since high school I had always gone through the processes of peer editing, but it was never a big deal. Nobody cared about what I had to say, and that led me to believe that what they said was unimportant as well. However, this specific set of peers really changed my perspective on peer editing. I felt I was among credible and gifted people. Participating in activities such as group discussions and peer editing challenged me to think more critically and to beneficially question my writing.” 

“I also have to comment on Prof. Willy’s attitude throughout the semester. She was absolutely fantastic, and I wouldn’t just say that. She was so helpful and knowledgeable, and just all around amazing. If I ever need to take another English or literature class, I will be sure to look her up.”

“Working with Professor Willy, one of the most understanding and helpful professors I’ve had my freshman year here at UNT, has been nothing but a pleasure. Professor Willy provides all necessary tools for students to be successful in her class and if you are not successful she will work with you personally and be the crutch you need to get back up.” 

“Your performance as a professor was all around really great. Very down to earth and did not act superior but expected respect, I like that. There was a mutual respect all around and I like that when learning. You have a very interesting back story and I like how you gave us glimpse into your life. I liked how you are very open to everyone that spoke and gave them as the most upmost respect, even though you might not agree. Doing these things humanized yourself and I felt like I could come to you with problems or concerns about the course if I ever had them. All around this was a great course and I am glad you were the instructor.” 

“The aspect of the course that I found most conductive to my learning was based on the atmosphere of the class. It is very open, relaxing despite the amount of work and unlike my other classes or other English class, I actually got to know some of my peers. You understand how we are tired, basically dead inside by the end of the semester yet, your attitude in class was like “I know you’re dead, I am dead, we are all dead, but you can do this, I can do this! Now let us be productive and learn!” It is a good balance of sympathy and motivation. I never dreaded coming to your class, because it is not a waste of my time like other classes. Comedy is one thing I adore in professors, I think it should be essential to have the job, and you are fantastically funny and sarcastic and I love it…. Over all I think it was a great class, English is not fun for me, but I loved your class and thought the curriculum was time effective. “

“Once again, your teaching technique is extremely easy to follow, and your positive outlook made my attending worth the effort. I have never had a professor as kind-hearted and fun as you in ALL of the time that I have spent in college. (Every professor in the English department needs to take notes!) Thanks again for EVERYTHING, I hope to see you around on campus during the Fall.” 

"From the beginning of the class, I felt kind of nervous because I haven’t experienced a lot of “great” classes that make me feel very confidence about my skills as English is my second language. Despite that, I was extremely surprised; in other words, I was very happy about how the class went, I am sure that it was one of the best classes I’ve had. In this semester, I have learned a lot of lessons which changed the way I write and the knowledge about how arguments and the rhetorical devices work."

“I really liked how the professor was really into the class. Professor Willy helped me when I needed help and was interactive with the classmates and made everyone participate. She gave me great feedback on my rough drafts and essays when they were done, saying what I needed to work on.”

“Many individuals are good writers taught by good teachers of writing, but to be a great writer you must be taught with passion by a great writer. Having a teacher that shows passion in her teaching style allows the learner to gain passion while learning writing. I believe this influence helps develop the creativity in writing, as well as the interpretation of writing as a whole by the student. Having a passionate teacher, such as Professor Willy, allowed me to not dread coming to class, and in turn, absorb more information.” 

“Through out this semester I have learned more than I thought I would. I learned that reading a reading article is more beneficial than you think, being able to do revisions memos are the greatest thing ever and that when you have a great teacher who sincerely loves her job, it makes all the difference in the world.” 

“How you explained the material made it relatable for me to understand because these things usually seem like a foreign science for me.” 

"What I really enjoyed the most was when you noticed we were struggling on Essay 1, you stopped your curriculum to make sure we were on track. Actually, many professors just keep moving on, like robots, and I lose my focus. Yet, you asked many times what we wanted to learn and assisted us with our lacking parts. With all this being said, it seems you adapted to us and we became truly a classroom."

" I wouldn't say I learned very much in this class about writing specifically. It would be more accurate to say that it refined my writing skills through the practice, although that in itself was very valuable to me. The essays themselves, then, were the most valuable portions of the class to me. Professor Willy was also a very useful aspect of this class as she is an excellent educator willing to go beyond the call of duty for her students to help them learn. Her enthusiasm and friendliness as well as her clear intelligence and wisdom alleviated any worries of asking her questions, allowing me to grow from my questions and short discussions with her."

" Professor Willy contributed the most to my learning. She is by far, the best professor I have ever met. Her teaching methods are the best I have seen through out my entire academic career. Not only did she give me an excellent education in English, she also bettered me as a person. A professor who can effectively teach their students, while connecting with them on a personal level is an inspiring facilitator. That is how I would describe professor Willy, who contributed the most to my learning, as a student, and a person."

"Professor Willy's grading/feedback contributed most as it helped me improve my writing and how I view my own writting and others."

"Professor Willy is an AMAZING instructor who obviously cares very deeply about both her students and the subjects she teaches. She is passionate and fair, and is always ready to answer questions or give additional instruction."

"She allows her students to all express themselves if they chose to (and students are encouraged with participation grades). It is so interesting hearing how different people read the same texts I did. I love being exposed to new ideas in this way. "

"I feel that before taking a class with Professor Willy I didn't know how to read texts. Obviously, I could literally read them, but I didn't know how to understand them on a deeper level. Being exposed to different opinions through her text selections, and the open discussion format of her class was inspiring. It opened my eyes to a whole new world of literature! "

"The class discussions were really important for actually understanding what we were learning. We were able to gain a deeper understanding of the text by discussing with other students. I feel like learning about the authors really helps give a deeper understanding of the text we are reading and discussing and I think that made a huge difference as far as learning. Professor Willy really cared about the welfare of her students which created a safe and healthy environment for us to grow together. The structure of the class was very nice, and the professors willingness to adjust the schedule as needed was super helpful. "