UW-Eau Claire

Assistant Professor
Literacy, Multilingual Writers, Feminisms, Rhetoric, and Composition

Kaia Simon teaches courses in the Rhetorics of Science, Technology, and Culture emphasis in the English Department. She also directs the Blugold Seminar Writing Program. Her research focuses on literacy, multilingual writers, feminisms, rhetoric, and composition. Dr. Simon’s current work on Hmong women and literacy has been published in Literacy in Composition Studies and College Composition and Communication. Before earning her Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Dr. Simon taught secondary English at the middle and high school levels. She is grateful to have been a student and teacher for most of her life.

Teaching and Learning Philosophy

Teaching is, for me, an act of creation. My role as a teacher-scholar of Rhetoric and Writing is to create the conditions in which students, and I, can learn the most possible from each other within the limited time we have together. Ultimately, students should leave any class I teach feeling more empowered in their abilities to read and write with critical and rhetorical awareness. I create conditions for this type of learning through thoughtful assemblage of diverse texts for the course syllabus, through the required work I ask students to do, through the equitable classroom environment we create together, and through the ways that we interact and share knowledge. The discipline of Rhetoric—and its emphasis on context, audience, purpose, argument, and power—informs not just the content of the courses I teach but the ways I teach them as well. Each course in each semester becomes its own entity, affected by my decisions and my presence, the combination of students and their combined presences, and the external conditions that affect each one of us in unpredictable ways. I am continually grateful for the ways that teaching gives me opportunities to begin again, to improve, to learn, and to matter in students’ lives.

I work to create a vibrant, responsive, interactive, challenging, and supportive classroom where all students are involved in contributing to our collective learning experience. Because of the groundwork I am responsible to lay, students have opportunities to engage with ideas and each other in a variety of ways as they consider a variety of perspectives. Our time together affirms what I know to be true the more I teach: teaching and learning are interactive, recursive, reflective, and the source of struggle and of insight. It’s an honor to be part of each classroom, each semester.