Posts Tagged ‘reflections


Writing highlights/lowlights

The march into January means that most instructors are welcoming a new batch of students with different attitudes towards their own writing. Because these attitudes play a key role in how receptive students will be towards the lessons your teaching, here’s one way to quickly get to know a bit more about your students.

Ask students to write two lists. In the first, ask them to list the top five writing highlights. In the second, ask them to list their five worst writing moments. Next to each item, have them explain in a few words why that moment belongs on that list.

As an example, I offer you mine: Continue reading ‘Writing highlights/lowlights’


Helping someone who hates writing

They say that those that can’t do, teach. I’m proof of that rule. But it is in the reflections on why I can’t do that I learn the most about what I teach.

When I got my first writing center gig, the director asked me to write a short biography for the website. Scanning the other tutors’ entries for the inspiration, I noticed many of my new colleagues were “haunted by the power of language” or “loved the experience of putting words on the page.” Knowing the passion of my colleagues, I don’t doubt their sincerity, but I know that if I was going to wax nostalgic about learning to write, I’d be lying. So I started my biography off with three words: “I hate writing.” Continue reading ‘Helping someone who hates writing’

Good Writer, Bad Writer

Good writer, bad writer reflects the philosophy behind the first writing lesson I attempt to teach students. Too many of them come into college believing that their writing abilities are set in stone. The bad writers continue to struggle, and the good writers don't take enough risks in their writing, figuring that any misstep will throw them back into the "bad writer" category.

Good writer, bad writer is my attempt to break the power of that dichotomy. On here, I share the lessons and attitudes that I teach, but I also talk about the attitudes I have towards my own writing since many of those have informed my own teaching. Thanks for visiting.

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