Tuesday, January 9, 2024


Intern Spotlight: What I Wish English Teachers would Teach

As a high school student, this is my case for why English Teachers should teach Novelly’s library, which shows variety in layers and literary elements while staying true to Novelly’s niche of the voices and stories of underrepresented youth.

By Aiden Tam

Aiden Tam was a Summer 2022 Intern at Novelly. Aiden is passionate both about fictional writing and helping the underrepresented, seeing an opportunity in expanding both of the aforementioned by targeting the youth. He is a rising senior at the Peddie School, with experience in leading, designing and managing social media and content creation in multiple school podcasts and platforms. He has an academic focus on creative writing and history, hoping to develop in these departments while helping others do the same.

Novellas I Wish English Teachers Would Start Teaching

As a high school student myself, modern English curricula are typically centralized upon literary classics and similar works, which are undoubtedly essential but heavily lack diversity and minority viewpoints.  Such material currently emphasized are written generally by people of greater age in time periods where society was unrecognizably different and held outdated mindsets.  For future students, I would love to see more contemporary works written by more youthful authors that do more to address or even tackle current social issues.  For this exact purpose, Novelly has a resourceful library that consists of an array of modern literature authored by none other than the youth of today that, combined with existing studies of historical and literary classics, can give students a multifaceted and well-balanced education.

Novelly’s library contains writing of many different genres: short stories, longer fiction novellas, poems, etc.  All these works incorporate elements from issues that have current significance, and they offer their views in a unique and creative way that also expresses the writer’s personality and character.  These stories, while harboring great insight into current events and social issues, also hold significant educational value based on its stylistic diversity.  No two authors are the same, and there are numerous stories that are bound to fit the criteria and preferences of even the stingiest and most meticulous of teachers.

Among the stories, a considerable number are written in the third-person, where the author projects their views and/or experiences onto a fictional plane.  One such story is the newly published Living in Snake Skin, a 10-chapter novella written by high school junior Lauren Lee.  She tackles the migrant experience in her own fictional means by crafting a story around the hardships faced by an Asian-American immigrant. Only just a high schooler, she is able to reflect some of her own internalized views through the lens of her character through a gruesome story that may seem, to the unfamiliar eye, mature well past her years.

Other stories in the library are written in the POV of the author, which perhaps offer a more intimate reading experience as it is relatively personalized and relatable.  Out of the Closet, also penned by teenager Lane Joslin is more of a personal documentation that is true to her own personal experiences as a transgender girl and her coming out process. As Pride Month and issues of gender and sexuality are becoming increasingly prominent in today’s society, stories like these are a great resource to increase exposure to social justice, especially in the field of education.

These stories are a great way for teachers and educators to increase depth and diversity in their educational syllabi. As we enter a period of time in which information is so widespread and accessible, education is of utmost importance to prepare future leaders. Novelly is a great resource to implement such elements into modern education.

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