• 6x16

    6×16 2021 Reflection

    This year’s 6×16 has been a little hectic, and I confess this is only #5 for me. It is always nice to spend some time thinking about teaching and learning, even if I haven’t been able to make it my priority this go ’round. Knowing that other folks are doing the same is pretty cool! Even though I’m not on campus this semester, so I missed out on some of the fun surprises, this is still a rewarding exercise. I’ve been taking a memoir course at NAU this semester, and all the assignments are submitted as blog posts. It’s been an interesting experience. While I feel a lot of pressure…

  • 6x16

    How I Became a Teacher

    My first experience with teaching was in Kindergarten at Starlight Park Elementary school. I was an early reader, so my teacher, Miss Berry, assigned me to work with some of the other students. I remember working with “Carrot-Top” (this is obviously not his real name, but that’s what he was called, and I don’t have any way of finding out his actual name). In 3rd grade, I used to corral as many of my friends as possible for “school” during recess. Sometimes, I made my brother (in 1st grade) get his friends to come to my class. I don’t know if my brother loved me so much, or if I…

  • 6x16

    Making Meaningful Connections with Content

    Especially in first year composition courses, faculty often work diligently to create assignments that are relevant to students. We want to engage them in the process so that they not only learn something, but (gasp!) enjoy doing it. I’ve had some luck with this. While every student might not start watching commercials more critically because of my Ad Analysis assignment or start volunteering for a non-profit because they researched it in my class or start a blog because they loved their website assignment so much, some do. And I consider that a victory, for sure. However, what I really want students to get (and I think this is really the…

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  • 6x16,  Teaching

    Instruction…What is it good for?

    Is it just me, or does this sum up the state of education today? How many kids are getting by with the help of Google and “Hey, Siri”? Back in the good old days, students might buddy up to do homework, but at least that resulted in a collaboration of sorts. A dialog about the questions, the answers, where they are found in the text, drawing out diagrams, giving examples–in short, learning was happening. In math, when we looked at the back of the book for the right answer, we still had to be able to do the work to get the credit! But Google doesn’t foster learning–it just gives…

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  • 6x16

    New Normal

    It has been fascinating over the last year and a half to see how students’ perceptions of online learning have changed. When we first moved everything online in a panic in March 2020, one of my students dropped the class because he didn’t want to take an online class; he didn’t think he’d be successful. Just a semester later, he popped up on my roster and ended up acing the course. Many students who were resistant to taking classes online learned that they did, indeed, have what it took to be an online learner. Now that we are back in school, we’ve seen that, in fact, many of our students…

  • 6x16

    Find the Joy in Teaching…

    An interesting trend I’ve noticed with young people lately is that they have begun to look at finding a job the way young girls look at finding a mate. Like a Disney movie where the princess always finds her man and lives happily ever after, young adults today seem to think that if they can only find the perfect career, they will be happy forever. They will never work a day in their life, as the saying goes. However, those of us who are (just a little bit!) older and (maybe!) a little more mature, realize that, even if we absolutely love what we do, we can lose the fire…

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  • 6x16,  Teaching

    Classroom Management/Community Building

      It never failed. Every year at the end of the school year when we opened up our report cards to see what teacher we would have the next year, the name on my report card was without fail the teacher no one wanted. They were mean or strict or tough. And I would begin every year with fear and trepidation…and end up loving those teachers wholeheartedly. I have been privileged throughout my life with amazing teachers. Not only were they innovative in teaching, but they recognized their students as individuals, challenging us to, not only do our best, but to BE our best. In 4th grade, I had Mrs.…

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  • 6x16

    What I wish I knew about Planning & Organization…

    Since I often teach seminars on planning and organization to women in business, my mind wants to veer to time blocking and creating a schedule in response to the prompt this week. For many people, both scheduling and lesson planning create headaches. However, having a plan can help us to weather the storms that will eventually try to wreak havoc in our classrooms, just as having a schedule can help us to accomplish our life goals. One semester, I showed up to the first day of a one-day-a-week evening class to find two students. TWO! Turns out, course numbers were scrambled and a course that only had two students was…

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  • 6x16

    My first day of teaching…

    My first day in the classroom was in Spring of 1999. At the ripe old age of 22, I thought I was ready for that first day with my leather briefcase (that I still have tucked into the back of my closet) and my new ‘grown-up’ hairdo. While that briefcase got a lot of use, it certainly was not enough to prepare me for being in front of a class of college students…most of whom were my age or older. In fact, my first few years of teaching, I got used to the snickers and the “are you serious?” and “no way!” comments that began when I opened the door…

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  • 6x16

    Do you conference?

    One of my favorite perks of teaching on campus is the ability to do student conferences. (Yes, I know you can do student conferences via zoom, which is very useful, but not as fun!) After every paper this semester, I have students come in to see me for about 5-10 minutes. We check their grades, talk about what’s going on in their lives, and I give them candy. 😉 I thought in this last post of this 6×16 session, I’d give you a few of the benefits of one on one student conferencing: Increase student success–often students aren’t aware of what they are missing–or they are too scared to ask…