Orange Alert

2021 Outstanding TA Award Teddy Allor

Teddy Allor in a paisley print button up in front of a brick wall.

Posted on: May 7, 2021

Congratulations to Teddy Allor, M.F.A student in the Creative Writing program, for being awarded a 2021 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. Selection for the Outstanding TA award is made by a university-wide committee of faculty recognized for their teaching excellence and is given to approximately the top 4% of all TAs campus wide.

In response to receiving this award, Teddy says, “I am so grateful and so humbled to receive this award. I began my teaching journey in Fall 2020, when the majority of the world found itself in lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Having never taught before, I was anxious and intimidated about how I would connect with my students in a completely virtual classroom. With the guidance and support of my mentors and peers I was able to develop a wholehearted approach to student engagement that prioritized openness and care. I found that once my students felt seen and heard, they were better able to apply the critical thinking skills required in any rhetorical analysis. As much as I taught my students, though, they taught me more—and I hope to carry that knowledge with me as I continue to grow as an instructor.”

The following are excerpts from letters nominating Teddy for this award:

“Teddy is a wonderful teacher—he plans meticulously, creates engaging and effective class activities, and never stops reflecting on his teaching work. But the quality that stands out about Teddy, and the reason I especially feel he deserves this award, is an ethics of care approach he takes in all his work, which has shined through during this very difficult time. I see this quality in every aspect of his teaching work, from his thoughtful approach to questions of race and gender identity in the class, to the intentional way he creates community, enabling the opportunity for students to feel heard and be part of something larger at a time we all need this . . . . When one of his fellow teachers was struggling with preparation for the semester, Teddy stepped in and offered him lesson plans and other materials . . . . Teddy is a smart, attentive, and engaging teacher. His work ethic and reflective practice are striking.”—Jonna I. Gilfus, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition, Assistant Teaching Professor

“Although I have not had the opportunity to work closely with Teddy, I have been aware of the excellence of Teddy’s work throughout his association with our department. I am particularly impressed by the thoughtful and caring way that Teddy has approached his teaching . . . . This caring presence is a remarkable characteristic of Teddy, who devoted a great deal of time to each of his students, ensuring that they felt comfortable in class. He checked in with them during each class session and strived to make himself available outside of class, too. Such practices are a gift anytime, but they are especially valuable during a pandemic.”—Patrick W. Berry, Chair, Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition, Associate Professor of Writing and Rhetoric

“What has struck me most is Teddy’s ability to empathize and connect with students and help them become better writers, more adept critical thinkers, and more incisive learners. Despite his relatively minimal tutoring experience, he proved himself to be as reliable, as hard working, and as dedicated as his more veteran counterparts . . . . Not everyone is well suited to working one-on-one with students, but Teddy’s kindness, empathy, and self-possessed demeanor help make him a particularly proficient tutor; he has an innate knack immediately connecting with students, and it’s that skill that has truly enhanced his tutoring. This is further illustrated by students’ feedback regarding their sessions with Teddy. All 18 students who completed a Writing Center survey after meeting with Teddy rated the session as “excellent.” One student described Teddy as a “truly wonderful” consultant who “provided wonderful feedback.” Another student described Teddy as “insightful, kind, and patient.” All of this further speaks to Teddy’s growing skill as a tutor and educator.”—Ben Erwin, Writing Center Administrator

“He was honestly the best writing teacher that I have ever had. He was an extremely supportive teacher who always made himself available to his students, whether through in class conferences, office hours or even email . . . . He also allowed us to take the prompts given and personalize them to our interests or majors which made the essays much more interesting to write and strengthened our connection to our fields even though we all came from different majors . . . . Professor Allor was kind, caring, supportive, considerate and respectful to all identities and backgrounds, and I feel very lucky to have had him as my WRT 105 teacher.”—Paige Isabell, SU student

“He was an excellent and supportive professor who always made himself available, during class conferences or reaching out to us by emails. Professor Theodore made sure that every student was given the opportunity to do their best on their assignments and combined peer review into each project, which gave us an opportunity to critique other writing and viewing their writing techniques.”—Jean Aaron Pierre, SU student

“Having class at 8am is hard enough, but Teddy was able to keep our attention with break out rooms and other discussions. I especially enjoyed how he would check up on us every morning before class and had wellness check with us. Not only did it help me let out tension, but he too was a student and understood how hard these times were for us. I was so thankful to have Teddy as a writing professor and I would love to have him again.”‑—Christy Liu, SU student