Who are you? Tell me a bit about yourself.
“My name is Alanna Ireland and I live in Norman with my family. My husband, Bo, is a United Methodist minister and we have 3 children. My oldest son, Tarron, is 21 and lives in Norman as well. My daughter, Magnolia, is a homeschooled senior and my youngest son, Ezra, is a homeschooled freshman. I studied Early Childhood Education at OU and later studied the WestEd approach to education, which involves creating family-style educational environments rather than basing them on an industrial model.”
What classes do you teach at The Loop?
“I teach Ancient History Writing and Medieval History Writing. I also teach US History Writing for another coop, but I’m hoping to move all my classes to the Loop this fall. I also am cooking up some really creative and fun short-term writing classes for the summer.”
When did you find your passion for writing?
“Writing was something I always enjoyed growing up. I would get excited when I got to do a writing assignment at school and I spent a lot of my free time writing and illustrating poems and stories. In college, I discovered that academic writing came naturally to me and I would often help my classmates organize their ideas so that they could convey their insights on the subjects that they were passionate about.”
What was it that triggered that passion?
“I do think that my passion and abilities for writing were God-given, but I have also been inspired by the writing of others. I have a natural love for the written word and for stories in general. I was a voracious reader growing up and I still read both fiction and nonfiction every day. I love how people can use writing as a vehicle for expressing new ideas and conveying information about our fascinating and beautiful world. I also love how we can experience and create new worlds, people, and creatures through the written word.”
What do you love most about writing?
“Stories can move us to tears, teach us important lessons, change our minds about things we were formerly so sure of, give us empathy for others, and so much more. The written word truly is a form of magic.”
What is your favorite thing about teaching your classes?
“I love seeing my students get really excited about something they’ve written to the point they can’t wait to share it with the class, especially those students who started the class thinking that they didn’t like to write.”
What do you hope students gain from your classes?
“Overall, I hope they can also fall in love with the written word and see how powerful words and stories can be. For reluctant writers, I hope they gain techniques they can use to get their ideas down on paper and into the world. For more prolific writers, I hope they learn to organize their thoughts to better convey their ideas to their readers.”
What would you tell someone who was considering joining your class?
“This class is a great way to explore both academic and creative writing and is for both reluctant and prolific young writers!
Students learn how to outline and plan before they start writing. This helps students who may have a hard time getting thoughts from their brains all the way down their arms and on the paper. Sometimes that short distance can feel like a thousand miles! We also explore many ways to generate ideas such as using pictures and other stories for inspiration.
For more prolific writers, it can help them to be more concise and organized with the millions of ideas that tend to come rolling onto the page all at once.
Most of all, this class is FUN! Not only do I have fun in every single class thanks to the many fabulous students that always seem to make their way into my classes, but most of my students tell me that they have fun as well. I incorporate a lot of games and creative activities into class times to keep things active and keep students engaged.
I wouldn’t tell any of my young writers this, but I might tell their parents that we also sneak in some grammar, punctuation, and mechanics.”
Would you like your kids to join Alanna’s awesome writing classes or any of the other classes at The Loop? Check out our schedule and class info on our calendar.
Learn more about Alanna and her awesome classes here.