Virginia Heslinga has been teaching since she graduated with a language arts education degree from Marshall University, Huntington, WVA, in 1974. She went on to earn a Masters degree in education from Widener, in Chester, PA, in 1988, and completed her doctorate in education through the University of Phoenix, AZ in 2010. Her career has included years in elementary, middle, high school, college, and graduate teaching programs, public, private, charter, and religious schools. Since 2004, volunteering to provide in-service and professional training for teachers of English in remote regions in China during her summers has heightened Virginia’s appreciation of cross cultural teaching and learning.
Areas of Study and Teaching
Foundations for Academic Success, English Language Arts, English as a Foreign Language, Interdisciplinary Learning, Critical Thinking and Writing, Teaching English Language Learners in Heterogeneous Classes, American Literature, American Sign Language, Drama, Creative Writing, Short Fiction, Educational Foundations and Methods, Feminist Theory, Women’s Studies, Leadership in Education, Art in Education, Qualitative Research involving Case Study, Classroom Management, and Curriculum Design
Areas of Expertise
Communication Skills, Interdisciplinary Unit Designs, Critical Thinking and Writing, Creative Writing, Educating Gifted Students, Educating Disaffected Students, ELL/ESL Programs, Multi-age Educational Programs
Undergraduate English classes, 2004 to the present semester
Graduate Education classes, 2004 to the present semester
Coordinator Critical Thinking and Writing Program at Anna Maria College, 2006-present
Co-coordinator Anna Maria College NEASC Committee, Jan 2007-Nov 2008
Master thesis advisor with AMC Art Education students, Spring 2007-present
Center for Teaching Excellence Anna Maria College, Presenter and Mentor, 2009-Present
MTEL communications tutor, fall 2007 –present
English & Education for Chinese Teachers of English, in Inner Mongolia, P R China
Teaching Summer English Programs 2004, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
English and Language Arts teaching, grades K-12, 1976-2004.
2012: August, Inclusion, Signing, Socialization, and Language Skills, with E. Nevenglosky
Electronic Journal for Inclusive Education, 2(9). ISSN 1545-0473.
2012: April, After a Summer: Pedagogical Developments in Cross Cultural Settings
Theory and Practice in Language Studies,2(4), 647-656, doi:10.4304/tpls.2.4.647-656
2010: (July) Dissertation: Life Experiences and Perceptions of Female Educational Leaders
2009: Updated Frameworks for Teaching Critical Thinking and Writing at Anna Maria College
2008: Historical Novel, Wounded Dove
September 2012 – Lilly Foundation Conference for College and University Teaching
Sept. 20, Teaching for Head, Heart, and Hands
Sept. 21, Educating Students with Starfish, the Researched Power of Metaphors
June-August 2012: Teacher training with a variety of colleges, junior middle, and middle schools in China.
May 21: Evaluating Student Writing, Faculty Development Day at Anna Maria College
May 10: Teaching traditional US students with a cross cultural perspective, Faculty Symposium
October 2011-In Service day for AMC Adjuncts-Writing in Disciplines
June, July, August 2011- Teacher Training in Inner Mongolia, Nanjing, Nanning, Shanghai, Linzi, and Beijing
March 2010: In-service day for AMC adjuncts-Classroom Management, Paxton, MA
Presentation Title: P.A.Y. as you go. (Prepare, Action, Yes).
October 2009: Using American Sign Language to Advance Language Arts Skills, Lake Street School, Spencer, MA.
May 2009: The annual Teaching Professors Conference-“Play’s the Thing: A Non-Intimidating
Look at Messages and Methods”
November 2008: National Council of Teachers of English Annual Convention: Shift Happens
Surfing the Shifts (poster presentation) and
Building for the Shifts (panel presentation, question, and answer session).San Antonio, TX.
Service to the Community
Organizing and leading W.H.E.N.N., a monthly writers’ group in Holden.
Wachusett Food Pantry serving 5 towns, project aid and fund raising
Wee Aide, Providing basic needs and holiday treats for the homeless www.weeaide.org
Teaching elementary grades in one room school house style Sunday School classes weekly.
Teaching and Leading an evening study/discussion group for women, weekly
Memberships, Honors, and Mentoring
Member of AAUP, NCTE, and has received awards for Living the Mission (from Anna Maria College), Teacher of the Year (Middle Township Schools, CMCH, NJ). Dr. Heslinga does presentations for community groups, schools, local, and national conferences. She mentors students, student teachers, and faculty members, and serves as a member of the Center for Teaching Excellence at Anna Maria College in faculty development and Core Curriculum
High School and Middle School English Teacher in Massachusetts. 2002-04
High School English Teacher 1994-2002,
Alternative High School English Education for Juvenile Offenders 1999-2002
K-5 Program Director and Teacher for Gifted Education 1984-1994
Pre-K-8 Language Arts 1976-1983