In a sense, I work with students to create awriting workshop in the classroom. As such, I assist and join my students alongeach step of the writing process. By composing my own texts, I hope to showstudents that our writing assignments are relevant and useful. We start eachassignment with in-class prewriting, including freewriting, brainstorming, andclustering—this affords me the opportunity to offer direct instruction whenstudents struggle with the difficulties of “getting started.” From there,students complete multiple drafts that are peer-reviewed and submitted to me onmultiple occasions. I make it a point to meet students one-on-one to discuss mycomments and their progress on assigned essays. This approach allows studentsto “talk through” their issues in the paper and their next draft consistentlyshows improvement. When a student sees how a written piece improves throughmultiple revisions, the act of writing becomes much less daunting and morerewarding.
One of my strongest assets as a teacher is that Iunderstand how to connect with students from different social, economic, andlanguage backgrounds. My background as a first-generation college student andprofessional writer helps me relate to my students. Moreover, I incorporatehumor and anecdotes into class lectures and discussions, and I show my studentsI am interested in them as people. I schedule time before and after class to meetwith students, and I routinely comment on student essays via email and/or aclass blog. Ultimately, my philosophy revolves around the concept offacilitating students’ growth in terms of writing and thinking.
I am a writing instructor who blogs on this site to reflect on my teaching, writing, and research.