An Interview with Rachel Overbay


Rachel Overbay is a first-year graduate student studying English at Radford University. As a part of her graduate work, Rachel is participating in the Graduate Teaching Assistantship program. Part of her responsibilities in this program include teaching one section of CORE 101 this semester and one section of CORE 102 next semester. Next year, she will teach two sections of CORE 101 in the Fall and two sections of CORE 102 in the Spring. We recently had a chance to sit down for an interview with Rachel where we discussed her background, her teaching style, and how she intends to set her CORE classes apart from the others taught at the university.

Rachel grew up in Botetourt Country, Virginia in a small town called Daleville. She mentioned that her English teachers at Lord Botetourt High School inspired her to want to teach the subject herself. “They really opened my eyes to English and literature and how it can really connect people. That was where I got a lot of my inspiration for what I wanted to start studying once I got to the college level.” She then attended Virginia Western Community College before coming to Radford University to finish her undergraduate coursework.

Rachel said that one of the things that she centers her teaching style around is interactivity. “I think that helps to make the information a lot more accessible for students.” She also mentioned that she is looking to incorporate a lot of different senses of literacy from movies and television shows to podcasts. “I really like to keep the curriculum relevant. I try to make sure we’re using more updated examples in the classroom that students can relate to a little bit easier. I take their interests and try to incorporate them into my teaching.”

Rachel also mentioned that she wants to make sure that, through the use of technology and alternative texts, students feel that they are in control of their education. “Whether through more social media or doing discussion posts online, it makes students feel like their voices are being heard and they’re involved in the learning process in a much more interactive way.”