I first read this speech during my time as a MoST English Education student, and its points are still as valid when regarding secondary education as they are college education. The idea of owning someone else’s experience is something we have to be very aware of as English teachers, specifically because so many of the texts we deal with are from multicultural backgrounds. We need to make sure not to claim ownership or mastery of these texts if we don’t have direct relationships with them. Royster points out that its important to “contextualize the stranger’s perspective among other interpretations and to recognize that an interpretive view is just that -- interpretive.” This reminds me of the issues brought up about mastery in Bartholomae’s piece, and class discussion on Tuesday. Understanding that no one except the author is the master of their work is something that should be identified to the class, especially as a teacher, because it encourages students to create their own interpretations (and of course, reminding them that their interpretations are their own, and that they may not necessarily be shared by the rest of the class, promoting healthy, thoughtful discourse on their differences.)
Royster also brings up a point that was discussed when we talked about civility clauses. She states on page 614 that “coming to judgment too quickly, drawing on information too narrowly, and saying hurtful, discrediting, dehumanizing things without undisputed proof are not appropriate.” These are the kinds of behaviors to be avoided in the composition and English classroom, regardless of the text being discussed at the time.