The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Born to teach: the ‘wise facilitator’

English Professor Steve Cirrone teaches WR 101 class in Rhodda Hall South, room 307. Tony Wallin | [email protected]

Teachers are about as diverse as classrooms. Some may be mean, others empathetic. Some grade hard, some give extra credit. And some are just born to teach.

Professor Steve Cirrone is one of the latter.

“I never wanted to teach until I realized I was born to teach,” says Cirrone, who cites a childhood game of teacher-and-student with his younger sister as the moment that revelation took place.

Cirrone, who has taught English and creative writing courses at City College for the past five years—and 15 years prior at community colleges from Virginia to California—has a knack and a passion for teaching rivaled by few.

“He is hands down my favorite teacher at SCC,” says Brittany Bogan, a student of his and also the editor-in-chief of last year’s campus literary journal Susurrus. “I’ve made sure to take at least one class of his every semester I’ve been here.”

Cirrone has certainly shown his passion for learning: He earned a bachelor’s in English and Russian literature from Binghamton University, SUNY. Shortly after receiving his master’s in English literature from Claremont University, he landed his first teaching job at the age of 22. He later went on to earn a doctorate in Renaissance literature.

It would seem that scholarship is something Dr. Cirrone—affectionately dubbed Doc by his students—greatly values.

“What I like about teaching is every semester, despite the fact that I might teach the same material, the students change,” says Cirrone. “Teaching is what you make it.”
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Aside from teaching, Cirrone is a dedicated novelist, playwright, painter and composer of symphonic music. He also enjoys involving himself in extracurricular activities that help further students’ academic goals: Two years ago he arranged an English mentorship program for students looking to hone their writing skills, and he is currently working with two students of his on a presentation of medieval visionaries to be demonstrated on campus.

Tony Wallin | [email protected]

He likens the job of a teacher to a “wise facilitator.” He strives to ignite his students’ inner writer, in the hopes that at the end of any given semester, they will walk away with a deeper appreciation for the written arts and more confidence in their own writing skills.

“His teaching style is different from a lot of other professors at City College, in that he opens discussion for the class rather than lecturing, which encourages studentbased learning and free-thinking,” says Rachel Hersch, a City College English major. “It’s much more engaging that way.”

Cirrone’s popularity among the student body is well-known. His personable attitude, admirable work ethic and appetite to educate are all qualities that have found
him in good standing with the inhabitants of his classroom. Indeed, it seems that the general opinion of his academic zeal is nothing short of critical acclaim. He hopes
for nothing less than to establish a mutual enthusiasm for language and the written arts between him and his students.

“Teaching is like introducing a familiar city to a new visitor,” says Cirrone. “I get to relive the thrill.”

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