Academic Teaching

Teaching Ethos:

Dr Kirstin Mills delivering a lecture at Macquarie UniversityDr Kirstin Mills is passionate about teaching the joys, wonder, and excitement, and the intellectual, emotional and practical value of reading and studying Literature. In her teaching, her aim is to awaken a passion in her students for curiosity: for asking questions and seeking answers. She firmly believes that studying literature, through both textual analysis and broader historical, contextual research, is crucial for developing an intelligent, engaged, and resistant outlook in an increasingly media-dominated world. In literature, she believes, there is something for everyone, and quite often more than they would expect.

While she teaches on a range of courses, some more specialised than others, one of her favourite subjects to teach is the ‘Approaches to English Literature’ course at Macquarie University, where she takes pride in awakening and encouraging the excitement and deepening engagement of students as they delve further into the rewards and joys of studying English Literature, and many of her students go on to pursue further units in this field. She also enjoys working closely with students to improve their research and writing skills, and she has received many commendations from students for the quality and extent of her individually tailored writing advice.

Kirstin is experienced with both face to face and online approaches to learning and teaching. In both formats she has received praise from students along with several award nominations and commendations from the University’s Academic Senate for her commitment to student satisfaction and teaching excellence.

Teaching Experience:

2009 – Present: Tutor in the Department of English at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia (On-Campus Teaching)

2014 – Present: Tutor and Convenor in the Department of English, Macquarie University for the Open Universities Australia (OUA) Program (Online Teaching)

Current Courses:

‘Approaches to English Literature’ – On Campus & OUA
‘Gothic Visions: From Sublime to Suburban Gothic’ – OUA
‘Children’s Literature’ – OUA
‘Australian Literature’ – OUA

Student Feedback:

Kirstin has received several commendations from Macquarie University’s Academic Senate for excellence in teaching, and for the high rate of student satisfaction and retention in her courses, as well as several OUA Teaching Award nominations. These achievements are reflected in the high volume of positive testimonials offered by the students themselves, a few of which are shown below:

  • Her enthusiasm made the class enjoyable and interesting, and made me enthusiastic about English!
    Student of 'Approaches to English Literature', Macquarie University
  • "Thank you for your kind comments on my essay, and especially for the safe and supportive space you have provided in this subject - it has allowed me to develop the courage to have a voice instead of being terrified of sharing my words with others, which is a great gift that I am very grateful for."
    Student of Children's Literature, Macquarie University
  • "Thank you so much for your support and help this study period.  You would have to be the most attentive and thoughtful tutor I have had the pleasure to meet!"
    Student of Children's Literature, Macquarie University
  • "Kirstin, thank you for all your help and support on this unit. Your enthusiasm for this subject is infectious, and your insights and input on our assignments and weekly forums have been invaluable."
    Student of Children's Literature, Macquarie University
  • I really enjoyed our English tutes. They were something that I looked forward to every week. It was clear that our opinions were valued, and everyone’s participation was encouraged.
    Student of 'Approaches to English Literature', Macquarie University
  • Kirstin’s feedback on essays was awesome and thorough. My marks increased significantly as a result of the excellent feedback.
    Student of 'Approaches to English Literature', Macquarie University
  • I loved our class discussions, and the way in which they were guided allowed us to think outside our own ideas and consider other perspectives.
    Student of 'Approaches to English Literature', Macquarie University
  • Kirstin was positive and polite, helpful, encouraging, enthusiastic and motivating, gave helpful feedback on essays, and adjusted tutorial activities to suit how different students best learn.”
    Student of 'Approaches to English Literature', Macquarie University
  • "Thank you so much Kirstin for all of your help and feedback throughout the course. I haven't encountered many tutors who are as contactable and supportive as you are. I have truly enjoyed the unit, and will forever read a text in a very different manner."
    Student of 'Approaches to English Literature', Macquarie University