Elizabeth Soutter has served as a guest lecturer at Harvard, Tufts, and Boston College, teaching a total of 58 in-person class sections (comprising more than a thousand students) in creative writing, politics, journalism, and English as a second language.
In 2020, during the COVID crisis, she began offering these courses remotely to students at a wide range of levels and abilities from beginners to post-graduate students.
The road to her professorship was paved first with her start as a public affairs intern for NASA’s Johnson Space Center, which led to a position serving as Press Secretary to a Member of Congress.
From there, Ms. Soutter went on to work in all forms of media including radio, television, print, and web; notably having maintained a popular and successful blog with 500,000 followers over nearly a decade.
Creative Writing (high school to post-graduate)
“If you want to write for yourself, keep a journal.” This class teaches the skills needed to write beautifully for an audience. Students work on craft, writing exercises, and, yes, grammar, punctuation, and syntax. Most importantly, the students work intensively on the process of editing, which is where the real literary art emerges. Class can be taught in groups or individually, via Zoom.
English As A Second Language — For College Preparation
International students who want to apply to U.S. colleges need to take the TOEFL exam. Ms. Soutter works with students to prepare for this exam, as well as to prepare for reading and writing English at the college level. Ms. Soutter provides recorded pronunciation practice drills, as well as instruction on vernacular, proper academic customs, and other topics to help prepare them to succeed as students at an American university.
ELA Tutoring (Elementary through high school) — SPED focus
Every single kid can (and should) have a mastery of written and spoken expression. In the school system, this subject area is currently referred to as English Language Arts (or ELA). Ms. Soutter has worked with many special-needs students (SPED) with challenges from spectrum disorders, to severe dyslexia and ADHD — with measurable results. Ms. Soutter designs lessons that are intriguing for the student, based on the real-world subjects and activities they are interested in, and guides them to write about those things in ways that are impactful — for example, emails to elected officials or editorial boards. Students generally see improvement in test results and practical applications.
A Political Toolbox For The American Citizen: Using Hamilton to Understand Trumpism, white supremacy, and the role citizens have in restoring democracy. (Kids version/Adult version)
It’s a strange thing that a country founded on the principle of politically engaged citizens does such a lousy job of educating citizens on the basics of politics and government.
During the last months of the Trump Administration, Ms. Soutter pulled together a curriculum using Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, and contemporary sources like speeches, social media, and news clips, to explain the basics of constitutional government, and the rise of the Trump catastrophic presidency. Students in this course engage in rigorous debates exploring questions of capitalism, immigration, education, and healthcare from a variety of perspectives, with an emphasis on the goal of making good law, not destroying each other.
This class is offered individually or in a group format, over Zoom.
The College Admissions Essay
Over the course of three sessions, Ms. Soutter works with the college applicant to draft an essay, refine it, and then edit it down to the clearest statement of who the student is, and what they are seeking from college. Students consistently report appreciating this process not only because it produces a good essay, but also because it helps them gain clarity overall about their goals for study.