Gay Collins

Gay has taught public education for 26 years, starting with middle school language arts and then moving on to high school English, American literature, public speaking, studies in drama, and creative writing. She earned National Board Certification in 2003 and became a mentor teacher to new teachers joining the school system. This work led her to think more broadly about the education system, eventually leading to certificates in school administration and positive psychology. In the last few years Gay has become increasingly interested in student mental health, school culture, and teacher morale. She currently serves as a university supervisor within The University of Connecticut’s NEAG School of Education where she helps develop new teachers and speaks and writes publicly on topics related to teaching and learning during these times of change. Gay recently retired so that she could free herself to take on new directions while still remaining immersed in education. She has started working with students outside of the public system, which she feels has become over-burdensome and sluggish. She sees school innovation as happening in these new spheres, and she wants to be a part of that change. As a teacher emeritus Gay brings an unparalleled level of insight and compassion to her work. She is deeply invested in the challenge of reaching young hearts and minds; and she remains focused on the student/teacher relationship.

Teaching Philosophy & Approach:

The origin of the word "education" means to draw out, and that in essence says so much about what I believe education to be. Are students empty vessels which need to be filled, or do they possess deep resources of knowing and understanding that simply need skillful uncovering? While there is no question that to know "things" - facts and concepts and theories - can be of great use in life, I believe we have put an over-emphasis on factual accumulation at the expense of a more profound and innate capacity that we all possess. I see the study of literature along with the development of an individual writing practice to be powerful means to a rich understanding of who we are, and who we need to be for each other.

Teaching Level:
  • High School
Teaching Type:
  • Tutoring
  • Learning Coach
  • Full-Semester Classes
  • Full-Year Classes
  • Partial Year Classes (Mini Courses)
Teaching Subjects:
  • Literature
  • Creative Writing
  • Comprehension and Grammar