The news site of Madison Area Technical College

The Clarion

Instructor Profile: Timothy Twohill- Class treats aren’t the only tricks instructor employs

Spice Phongthiengthan, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Trail mix and Twizzlers are the snacks that Timothy Twohill brings to his literature class every Tuesday night. At 5:30 p.m., students are usually tired from classes or work that they had throughout the day.

Twohill knows his class is at the time that his students should be at home having supper so providing some snacks makes his students more refreshed and open to what he is offering in his class.

Throughout his 16 years of teaching at Madison College, Twohill has had time to amass a collection of teaching tricks that he keeps up in his sleeve to help students be more successful in the class. One has been to provide snacks for students in his evening class since he knows that students cannot think properly with an empty stomach.

“Students need sugar to think. Your brain consumes a lot of sugar,” said Twohill. In the past, he used to bring various kinds of snack until he found the duo that students love. “Over the years I figure it out what students like the most and that was that trail mix and those Twizzlers.”

As an English instructor, he realizes that not all students want to take English classes, but they take it just to fulfill the requirement.

“I respect students’ frustration with the requirement and I understand why they may feel like, “I already did this in high school and I don’t want to repeat it,” explained Twohill.

As the result, he makes it his priority to make his class as interesting as possible. He usually assigns several group works in the class, and selects a discussion topic that students can relate themselves to, and at the same time, provide space for students to debate.

When it comes to a writing assignment, Twohill provides an opportunity for students to choose the topic that they are interested so they will have a motivation to finish the assignment. He always reminds students “make this class count for something that helps you develop in your personal life.”

One of Twohill’s former students, Charles Highnoon enjoyed taking a night literature class with Twohill. At first, Highnoon thought it would be just a typical literature class that he would be falling asleep in, but he quickly learned that that was not the case.

Highnoon said that Twohill’s class was pleasurably unique and something that he looked forward to every week, regardless of the evening snacks available. He ended up thriving with Twohill’s teaching style, and would love to take a class with Twohill again.

“It was a very good experience. It was honestly like one of the best classes that I have ever taken,” said Highnoon.

Twohill has been a full-time instructor at Madison College for 16 years. He teaches various English classes, such as Intro to Literature, American Literature and English 1. Twohill has a bachelor’s degree from North Eastern Illinois University along with master’s degree and doctorates from Illinois State University.

With his generosity and these tips, Twohill continually helps students to learn better and in the same time, making them enjoy taking a class. At the end of the day, a little trail mix in Twohill’s class does indeed go a long way.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The news site of Madison Area Technical College
Instructor Profile: Timothy Twohill- Class treats aren’t the only tricks instructor employs