Social Class Reproduction

Four Rules for Teaching Writing:
Image result for image: joy of writing
Always give writing assignments that

1. you will enjoy reading;
2. students will enjoy writing;
3. students will enjoy reading what others in the class have written
4. you will enjoy writing.

If any one of these conditions were not true, then it probably wasn't a very good assignment.

Advice I give to my students: When your words surprise you, you know you are writing.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Rethinking Objectives

Two things of interest this morning: First is that I find it easier to write in here (i mean in this blog space) than I do in word, like in my diary, where I usually write something that I might paste somewhere in a more public forum.  I have no idea why this is so.

Second: I'm going to write something in here about personal writing and teaching every MWF (days when I'm not teaching)--and possibly SatSun, the days of reduced pressure.  This is a way of accumulating my thoughts about the subject, some of which will reappear in different forms when I write for publication.

I feel wonderful this morning for reasons I can't explain. It's a lovely day and I enjoyed yesterday with my students and reading their work.  There is of course more to feeling wonderful than that. But when we feel wonderful, we should in some way mark it down so that on other more gruesome days, we can go back and say--there, it was like that, and I will feel that again.

I am thinking a lot about the kind of writing my students are doing and how this kind of writing might or should fit into an undergraduate curriculum and even in required writing programs.  I think I"m going to stick with only one thought this morning--the degree to which we have skated over our students' (dis)affection for writing--and whether we should elevate affect in our objectives--like consider affect as a separate outcome in the WPA Writing Outcomes. I don't think in all of our discussions in the 90s that affect even came up as a topic. Others can correct me here.

The real issue is the degree to which we backpedal a bit on our focus of preparing our students for the writing situations they are likely to meet in other undergraduate courses, one of the two most often cited objectives in our required writing programs--the other being critical citizenship.  Most of us probably recognize that the Service/CC objectives frequently alienate students from the writing habit that as writers we claim to cherish.

If you've read this far, I encourage you to read some of the autobiographies, reflections, and essays on vulnerability students in my Life Writing class have written.

Links:  Life Writing Essays

#personalwriting2.blogspotcom #ipeckham #personalwriting #firstyearwriting #studentwriting

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