Teaching

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Kimberly Jean Smith has joyfully taught Creative Writing, Literature, Critical Thinking, Journalism, and Composition courses for Gavilan College in Gilroy, California, since 1999.

She has coordinated Gavilan’s Writing Center, developing peer-based services for campus writers as well as a community-based family literacy project. She has also co-coordinated her campus’ Puente program, which supports academic success for historically underrepresented college students by focussing on Mexican American and Latino culture, issues, and literature. Her Writing Workshop classes at the San Benito County Jail in Hollister, California have been running since 2015.

In Spring 2014 she co-presented Beg, Borrow, and Steal: Twenty-five Best Teaching Practices from Teachers who Write for Writers who Teach at the annual Association for Writing Programs conference in Seattle. In 2009, she received Gavilan’s faculty of the year award.

Her classrooms reflect a belief that writing is a physical experience as much as a mental one. She designs activities for maximum engagement of mind and body, utilizing peer-based interaction, experimentation, and play, in order for students to learn deeply, gain fluency as readers and writers, and achieve meta-cognitive awareness applicable in multiple areas of their lives.

She received a Masters of Fine Arts degree from Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina, in 2012, and a Masters of Science degree from Columbia University, Graduate School of Journalism, in 1993. Her bachelor’s degree is in Fine Arts and was earned at California Institute of the Arts. She also attended Hartnell College, in Salinas, her hometown.

In addition to her work as a college instructor, she has been a journalist at daily newspapers and alternative weeklies in New York City, Southern Maine, and California and offered home-based community writing classes in Santa Cruz where she currently lives.

For more information please contact her at ksmith@gavilan.edu and/or during the academic year at (408) 848-4889.

Check out these collections of student writing from the San Benito County Jail:

            Forget Me Not: San Benito County Jail Writings

            I'm Somebody's Sunshine: More Writing from the San Benito County Jail

            Ecstasy of the Streets, Agony of these Walls: Writing from the Women of E & F Pod (Spring 2016)

            The Revolving Door: Writing from the Women of E-Pod

            The Struggle is Real: Writing from the Women of F-Pod

            Love of Various Examples: Writing from the Men of C-Pod