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Koltun's kindness expressed through creative writing course

TUES. |4-25-23| FEATURES

     This year, Rose has added many new faculty members to the school, one being English teacher Cristin Koltun. She teaches English 1, English 4 and creative writing at Rose and has been a teacher for about 17 years. 

     With Koltun's creative writing class, the students had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects, including one that had their writing and art work published in a physical book, giving them something to be proud of.

     “Our students here have such a huge variety of experiences and can 


Photo by Gabi Castillo 

bring so many interesting, unique viewpoints to different lessons,” Koltun said. “It’s just really fun to discover the people who are in front of me and to watch them learn and grow and to become one big family in each class.”

     In the past, Koltun has always taught core English courses. However, this year, she taught creative writing, which was different from what she was used to teaching.

     “I never taught creative writing before, so that was a learning process and it was a lot more fun than I really expected it to be and I really look forward to teaching that again,” Koltun said. “I really enjoyed getting to know my students and that’s always been my favorite aspect of any position that I’ve ever held in education.”

     In her creative writing class, she taught different types of writing such as horror stories, fall writing and lots of poetry. 

     “We did just a lot of experimentation because I had not taught that curriculum before and there is no book, so I kind of had to get to know my students,” Koltun said. “[It was to] not only have assignments that would interest them, but also have assignments that would further their skills and abilities.”

     Koltun enjoyed teaching this English elective during the first semester as it was a new creative outlet for her. Koltun enjoys teaching an English elective where students are there because they’ve chosen the class, instead of it being a requirement. She knows that they are actually interested in writing.

     “For this to be a class that you take voluntarily, chances are good you’re already a decent writer or that you’re looking to improve your writing,” Koltun said. “That’s just always fun to have an audience that wants to excel and isn’t just here because they have to be.”

     Creating a kindness book was one of many assignments they completed during their creative writing class. Each student in the class took part in the assignment and had their writing and artwork published.

     “I thought it would be a great piece of a social and emotional reflective lesson, [and I] also believe that there needs to be more kindness in the world,” Koltun said. 

     Senior Keinyjah Lacy took the creative writing class during the first semester and enjoyed having Koltun as a teacher. 

     “It was nice to have a teacher who really cared about everyone participating and having their work actually in the book,” Lacy said.

     The hard-copy kindness books that all of the students in the class participated in, came in during the second semester. Koltun held a refresh session to surprise the students with their published books that had arrived.

     “When the books came in, Dr. Thomas saw them and was interested because he said that he was published… [during] his elementary level and that he still had his book,” Koltun said. “He wanted to purchase a book for every student in the class.”

     Koltun believes that these students being published while still in high school is a very big accomplishment.

     “I think it’s important to know as a writer, the sky is the limit…you can be published and it doesn’t have to be a New York Times Best Seller,” Koltun said. It still matters and it’s still a goal for I think any author,” Koltun said. 

     Koltun hopes that through her teaching, the students in her creative writing class were motivated to express themselves and to do so more effectively.

     “Expression is a means of communication and communication is how people relate to each other in this world,” Koltun said. “The more effectively you can communicate, the more effectively you can relate and it’s all about relation and it’s really essentially all about kindness.”

     If anyone is interested in enrolling in Koltun's creative writing course next year or has any questions, please get in touch with her; she would be happy to talk about the course and provide further information.

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