Kathryn Taylor Promotes Relatable Texts for Students


Photo by Salma Escallon

Bella Bloss, Contributor

 Kathryn Taylor, one of two new English teachers this year, is described by her students as young, enthusiastic, and passionate about the quality of their education. Taylor graduated from Brigham Young University with a major in English teaching and a minor in editing and publishing. She is involved in the classroom, engaging students in conversations about books and other media.

She said, “If I sit there like ‘reading old text is important’… no kid´s going to care”.

Instead, Taylor wants the material she teaches to be applied to students’ everyday lives, and emphasizes how early modern English such as Shakespeare’s plays, relates to students today.

Taylor said, “If I’m like ‘Hey! Here’s how old text can apply to your life right now’ students get more invested”. Students are more interactive and engaged when the content is relatable.

Taylor believes students drive their education, and that students can only learn something if they want to, “…you have to motivate yourself,¨ she said. “I’m a big advocate for driving your own education; I don’t want to be the teacher that’s like hovering over your shoulder ‘do your work, do your work, do your work.’”

Taylor explained that self-motivation is key to a successful education; a student will not engage with content if they, themselves, do not want to participate. 

When asked about the topic of her dissertation, Taylor mentioned writing her thesis on why students need to read young adult novels.

“I wrote a whole thesis on bringing diverse young adult texts into the classroom, and teaching them alongside the classics; because they have a lot to offer, and kids like reading books targeted at them”.

In young adult novels, teen characters navigate tough situations; whether it’s in a dystopian book like The Hunger Games or realistic fiction like Speak, students enjoy engaging texts.