Mrs. Renee Quaife talks with her students about the elements of creative writing.
Mrs. Renee Quaife talks with her students about the elements of creative writing.
Photo Credit: Haley Young

Mrs. Quaife Talks With The CC

Crimson Crier: Where are you from?

Renee Quaife: Huntsville, Alabama. I went away to college and came back.

CC: Where did you go to college?

RQ: I went to Troy State in South Alabama then came and finished college at Athens State.

CC: What inspired you to become a teacher?

RQ: In fourth grade I had a really great teacher, she inspired me to teach. We read a book in there called “Julie of the Wolves.” I really liked the way she taught so I fell in love with that. Then my science teacher in seventh and eighth grade, he was a phenomenal man. He inspired me. Then when I was in tenth grade, my English teacher was phenomenal and she inspired me to become an English teacher. So I had several people who inspired me to become a teacher.

CC: Tell me about your family.

RQ: So I’m married, me and my husband have been married for 22 years. We have two kids. Our daughter, she’s in tenth grade here at Sparkman. My son Ethan is in seventh grade and goes to Monrovia Middle School. We have two dogs and a cat, Goku, Sydney and Riley.

CC: How does it feel to have your daughter go to your school?

RQ: It is a little surreal still. I’ve been here for 19 years so I was here before she was even born and she’s been here for different reasons. But now having her as a student here is a little interesting but it’s good. I like it. It’s interesting because like the students that she knows, that she’s grown up with I know, and she’s in class with my teacher friends.

CC: What are your hobbies?

RQ: I like to travel. This last summer we went to Greece, Italy and Paris. The next big trip I’m going to plan is to Germany. I also want to just go for a drive too. I like to read and watch movies. I like to hang out with my kids. Me and my son Ethan, play basketball in the afternoon so hanging out with family.

CC: What were your experiences in your travels?

RQ: I try to do trips that are educational. We went to Stratford, England which is where Shakespeare is from and I teach Shakespeare. We went to the Globe Theatre, I took pictures to share with my students. This past summer I went to Italy. The play Julius Caesar is placed in Rome and I stood there and looked at the place where Julius Caesar was lying to rest. It was very surreal because some of the things like the Colosseum I’ve only seen in books, so to stand there. I liked Greece overall.

CC: What are your favorite books?

RQ: So my favorite genre is romance mystery. I like Melanie Dickerson’s books, she does fairytale retells, so they are all set in the 1400s Germany. She takes the story of Beauty and Beast and retells it as if it was real. My favorite book of all time is “Their Eyes Are Watching God.” Most recently, my favorite book by Jodi Picoult, “The Storyteller.”

CC: What’s your favorite subject to teach?

RQ: I really like Shakespeare, Julius Caesar and poetry. That’s what I like about creative writing they get to do poetry stuff.

CC: Have you always taught English

RQ: My degree allows me to teach anywhere from sixth grade to twelfth grade. I can teach any of the English classes, speech, creative writing, or even theater. Actually in college, we had to put on the play “Steel Magnolias.” I like the theater but I wouldn’t want to be a theater teacher. At Sparkman I have taught, English 10 and 11, creative writing I and II,  a grammar class and journalism. Creative Writing is our literary magazine. It’s completely student work, poetry, artwork and short stories. Creative writing one student writes it and in creative writing two students put it together. It’s my favorite overall because it is completely student-based.

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