English essayist, poet, dramatist, and statesman Joseph Addison’s notion that “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body” is a quote with which Brandon Sloan heartily agrees.
“My main goal is that I want the students to see how literature is relevant to their lives and how the study of it is worth their time,” said Sloan. “So many students see reading as a waste of time. But I try to explain to them that just like lifting weights benefits your body, in the long run, reading is going to benefit you later in life.”
This Dostoyevsky fan has a real passion for both literature and history, and, for a while, Sloan wasn’t sure in which area he would be majoring. In fact, he was so undecided that he was “sidetracked” by the business world, managing multiplex theaters for several years, before eventually deciding on English. English, he said, would not only allow him to indulge his passion for the written word, but also to explore the histories, cultures, religions, and philosophies surrounding mankind’s greatest works. Once he had made up his mind, he headed back to school and graduated from the University of Akron with a bachelor of arts in English literature in 2005, and a master’s in English literature, with a certificate in comprehension and rhetoric, in 2007.
Sloan started teaching full-time after graduation, averaging four to six classes per semester at the collegiate level. In addition to teaching several classes each semester at the University of Akron, he has also taught at both the University of Mount Union and Walsh University. However, since those classes focused primarily on writing, he was very excited to join the team at R-MA, so he could work more with literature.
Students at R-MA find Sloan’s classroom to have a college-like feel. “What I hope to establish is a professional yet laid-back atmosphere, in which we can have comfortable, serious, adult discussions,” he said. “I’m not about too many rules unless called for. This is the last step before college, and I try to run it like a college course.” One of the things he heard in college were the frequent laments from his Freshmen about how their high school teachers had let them slide and slack off to their own detriment, and he is determined that his students at R-MA will be truly prepared for their future college writing and literature classes.
In his recreational time, Sloan, who is an Ohio native, enjoys reading, writing, painting, woodworking, and carpentry. He can also be found jogging, kayaking, riding his bike, playing basketball, and watching football.
- M.A., University of Akron
- B.A, University of Akron
- Courses: English 12, AP English 12, Utopia/Dystopia
- R-MA Mentor, Drama Department Director, "Mandatory Fun" band member