6x16Fall2020

YC Blogging Challenge Fall 2020

  • 6x16Fall2020

    Back to the Future

    As an educator, I have always believed that my purpose is to teach students the skills they need to succeed in their academic careers and their chosen professions. As a composition instructor, that means that I focus on teaching students how to write well–how to clearly articulate their ideas for a specific audience and purpose. Unfortunately, this task seems to become more difficult with each passing year as students enter college less prepared. Over the past few semesters, I have had multiple students tell me that they have never (yes, never!) written an essay in their entire academic career. I don’t know how this is even possible, and, in over…

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  • 6x16Fall2020

    Lesson Plans…

    What are you teaching next week? Do you know? How much of your teaching is planned and how much of it is spontaneous and driven by the moment? What’s your approach to improvisation? I have always been a planner. In fact, I teach workshops on organization and goal setting to women in business at a yearly retreat. I like to know what is coming next, and I’ve found that most students appreciate this, as well. In my early years of teaching, I was given courses to teach with no guidelines at all other than, perhaps, a sample syllabus. So, I would look at the course outcomes and the textbook and…

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  • 6x16Fall2020

    Teaching Modalities

    Deciding which modality I prefer is an interesting question with answers that change depending on the circumstances. As a student, I definitely prefer the online modality. I like to get my assignments done and move on to the next thing. One aspect of this preference is simply that I learn best from reading about a subject, rather than listening to a lecture or participating in a discussion or activity. The other aspect is just life…I am a mom with four kids and a very busy career, on top of all the other activities in my life. I need to be able to complete my work when I can carve out…

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  • 6x16Fall2020

    Nice to Meet You…Virtually

    After teaching solely online for 10 years, my favorite part of being back on campus was being able to make better connections with students. On the first day of class, I always perform my “student human trick”–I learn everyone’s names by the end of class. Of course, I warn them that, if I can’t remember my own children’s names half the time, it’s likely I’ll forget theirs, too! 😉 I think meeting in students in person eases their mind about taking an English course. They can tell that I’m approachable and I care about them by the way I speak to them in class. So how do I replace this…

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  • 6x16Fall2020

    Pandemagogy?

    Imagine showing up to class, all ready to teach. Half of your students are hiding behind a cardboard box. Another quarter of the class is clearly in their pajamas and have just woken up (even though it’s almost noon). Dogs and children randomly run through the classroom, and most students are eating. Some of your students have mirrors with them and are checking to make sure they have struck exactly the right pose, while others are clearly checked out and enjoying conversations on their phones. Whenever you turn around to write on the board, all but four students hide under their desks. Of course, you don’t know that because you…

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