Edwin Williams

Edwin Williams


Edwin Williams

Mikayla Jordan, Writer

What is your title at GCAA?
“I teach English I. I also teach public speaking, literacy and forgein language. So, essentially I’m part of the ELA or English department.”

How many years have you been in education?
“So, in total not so much as a teacher but in total I would say eight… actually nine years.”

Do you like teaching?
“I love teaching, I love watching students grow and being in a traditional classroom as a traditional teacher. At this time it’s very unique and I love getting to know students even more than I would have as an administrator. I’m getting a new perspective, just really on their daily lives and what they know or what they don’t know.”

Where did you get your certification/teaching degree?
“ I went to Southeast Missouri State University for undergrad, I went to the Longg Conservatory of Music in Cambridge Massachusetts for my masters degree and I’m currently working on my doctorate.”

Why did you decide to go into education?
“ I decided to go into education because my background is very much in the arts and I love seeing students grow as artists. I love being able to put the things in place to actually allow them to have what they need as artists and the same applies to teachers. I’ve had to in the past manage in an arts setting. I really went into education because I love all of those pieces and putting them together.”

Why did you choose to apply/accept a position at GCAA?
“ I chose GCAA because I am an artist and I was drawn to the school. I’ve heard wonderful things about it. I reached out to Dr.Hopper and he let me know the available positions and I wanted to get involved here and it worked out in the end for me to be a part of the English department.”

How do you think your previous experience (whether in education or not) will benefit you as a teacher at GCAA?
“ Previous experience will help me at GCAA because I’m dealing with a lot of artists. Creative energy is all that I’ve had to work with… in the past. Every student is different but I kinda know how artists move and how they think so I’m always able to find a point of entry in terms of connecting with students. There was this one student that I wasn’t expecting him to be a visual artist, but now that I know that I complimented his work. And now he shows me every class period what he’s been working on. Just finding those ways to connect with students. Being able to tune into different students’ passions and what they do well as artists has helped me to encourage them.”

What has been the most challenging part of working at GCAA?
“ The most challenging part has been not being able to start with the students from day one. Some of them, they’ve gone through a lot of changes and for some of them I’m their third teacher. So being able to catch up and know the students and feel as prepared as I want for this.”

What do you look forward to most this school year?
“ This school year I look forward to experiencing different performances and seeing what those are like. I look forward to watching students grow all the more and to see where they’ll be by the end of the year versus where they are right now. I look forward to seeing how I feel as a teacher and what it looks and feels like to have grown in terms of confidence. In addition to learning, what the performances look like and seeing what the students are like when they’re in their zone on stage, presenting their visual art wherever.”

Do you want to leave an influence on your students?
“ I definitely want to, in all that I do, I really want to. It’s the idea that if you’re able to leave a situation or a person better than they were at first, then that makes you a successful person. I really live by that, that’s kind of my hope. So, hopefully with younger people I’m able to do the same and influence them positively. I also hope they are able to influence me positively in terms of being the best teacher that I can be.

How would you describe your teaching style
“As a teacher, or really as a person I tend to be more formal, however, I’ve learned to relax that to some extent. So that means throwing back phrases the students use to catch their attention sometimes, or sometimes being a little bit silly. But, my teaching style is all about respect but not in the sense that students can’t be themselves. I always want them to be themselves but there’s a certain safety established in the classroom, that we are always doing the best to listen to each other and be mindful. So if it helps to describe how I am as a teacher, there’s a sense of formality but in a healthy way, not in a rigid way.”

Anything else you think you would like me to know about you?
“I’m a singer, that’s a fun fact. I’ve sung in English, German, Italian, French, Latin, Spanish and I’ve even sung a bit in Hungarian. I’ve performed in Boston as well as in St. Louis. I’ve worked with the Legend Singers here in St.Louis, which is a very popular quarrel ensemble that does works by African Americans composers. I’ve also performed as a soloist. I’ve been singing all my life and my initial degrees were actually in music performance. I’ve also worked at the Metropolitan Opera.”