I am a strong believer in commenting on at least one draft for students of every essay in a constructive, positive way, but without handholding (ie nice comments just for the sake of niceness.) Students should be able to use comments as a jumping off point for future drafts, and using an informal tone in the comments makes responding more of a conversation than an evaluation, leaving students more comfortable to experiment with the suggestions – which they feel fits best, and which they aren’t interesting in pursuing. I believe comments should be at least half in question format, so that students have to seek their own answers (indirective.) The primary goal is to get students to think critically about their own work and establish a rapport with the instructor. I am also a big proponent of one-on-one instruction in whatever environment I am able to give it, and individual conferences remove the pressure of the classroom and their peers, while simultaneously providing them an environment that they have some control of the dialogue. Evaluating then takes on a different tone when there’s a dialogue about the work ongoing for the semester. I am looking forward to implementing the portfolio technique for students, so that I include change and improvement over the semester in their evaluation, so that it’s a fluid grade, not just a stagnant pronunciation.
I attended a Montessori K-8, and that has been the biggest influence on me as a student and educator. Emphasizing the individual experience as well as the overall classroom community, and getting them to engage with one another and me on a familiar, equal level is important to me. I would like to share as much of the classroom with them as possible, and see myself as more of a guide than an instructor, or at least that’s what I’d like to be in a “dream classroom setting.” Dewey is also a massive influence, and his ideas of education are something I’d like to try to incorporate in the college classroom. I expect my style will change and adapt once in the classroom, as most of my teacher training involves high school dynamics, and I look forward to see how flexible I can make my classroom in regards to student needs and improving their educational experience. I think that I will like being able to share knowledge and help them improve their writing while widening their awareness of the world and their place in it. I think I’m going to struggle with grading initially, as well as making sure my lectures are as engaging and inclusive as possible.
Goals and Mission
My goal is to get students passionate about the ways they communicate, to teach them to be effective communicators, and to understand how they will be expected to communicate in a college setting, as well as how to engage with texts and relate them to their own experience, in order to understand the experiences of others. I’d like to encourage them to engage with the text and their own writing in ways that allow to them revise and rewrite and not be afraid of failure in their experimentation.
I’d like to encourage open workshops and discourse, which may face the issue of students who aren’t sure how to encourage in workshops, or those who are unwilling to engage in classroom activity (the “I showed up for class, that’s all your getting students”, that I tend to find are mostly 8 am-ers.) I’m not sure how I can get an apathetic class to start caring outside of getting them to connect the texts to their own life, and that’s definitely something I’m going to struggle with since I’m so passionate about writing and literature that I have a hard time seeing why others wouldn’t be.