Ryan Sparks



Language Arts

Ryan Sparks grew up in the hills of Eastern Kentucky, or Appalachia, and earned his Bachelor of Arts in English Education at Morehead State University. After becoming TEFL and TESOL certified, Ryan taught English online for Education First before working as a full-time English teacher at Magoffin County High School. Hoping to hone his skills in a way that allowed him to share his passion for literature with others, Ryan continued his education, earning a Master of Arts in Literature at New Mexico State University. While there, Ryan’s primary area of research concerned modern, postmodern, and contemporary literature as understood from the critical perspectives of intersectionality, phenomenology, narrative, and metanarrative. As a teaching assistant, he also taught a 100-level English course on Rhetoric and Composition and a 200-level English course on Intersectionality as it relates to Language, Power, and Identity. Upon graduation, Ryan moved to Lexington, Kentucky where he worked as an Americorp VISTA serving the International Book Project. While there, Ryan coordinated the Books as Bridges program, a program that worked to increase literacy and cultural awareness in Kentucky by establishing and maintaining global partnerships via outreach activities such as pen-pal programs and service-learning projects. Once his service ended, Ryan followed his intelligent and most-talented partner to Michigan, where he worked as a Paraprofessional and Academic Specialist at Canton Preparatory High School. Today, Ryan has the privilege of teaching English here at CEC. He enjoys biking, hiking, reading, writing, gardening, music, art, anime, traveling, cooking, playing games, telling stories, and learning new things. He has two cats, Fluff and Savage, that he loves dearly. His partner has two pups, Jax and Finley, that occasionally pull him around town on his skateboard. He is deathly afraid of heights. He keeps bees. He grew-up in the creek catching crawdads (or crayfish). He’s a god-tier nerd, a product of the nineties, and if he could be a non-human animal, he would probably be a Dolphin or an American Crow. He considers himself a social and environmental activist. He’s a descriptivist, rather than a prescriptivist. He likes to laugh, and whistle when nobody is around. He works out, but he hates it. He supports a constructivist pedagogy, and one of his favorite quotes, as of late, is “imagine Sisyphus happy.”