Thursday, May 1, 2008

Reflecting on 612

What have you learned about the teaching of writing?

To write a prĂ©cis of this semester listing the things I have learned in relation to the teaching of writing is a hard thing for me to do. Sometimes I wasn’t sure what was going on in the class. I would look at my Tuesdays as the hump, where if I only made if over, the rest of the week would be smooth sailing. Though, reflecting upon the experience, I will say I have gained a new appreciation for the idea of inclusiveness. It is the way tropes develop in Jazz, the way music styles, forms, and ideas can be combined, bringing musicians together in creative moments. It is also the way the theories pull things together, explaining things as a whole, encompassing all aspects of a given situation (genres, the pentad). It is the newest developments in technology that allow for increased levels of interaction, interconnectivity, and perception (webcams, the internet, computers). It is standing as individuals in a circle and then being brought together as a class by the creative wrangling of James Peck, all of us grunting like monkeys. It is also the gratitude I feel, derived from feeling welcomed into a class of my peers, people I already consider as educators of the most dynamic sort (notwithstanding the lack of GTA’s for everyone). If I must say something specific to what I have learned in relation to writing, it is that to be done properly many pieces must be brought to bear. It is recognizing your fellow teachers as team-members, as Thomas Newkirk would advise, and letting the students in on the bigger picture, as Dr. Stacey did in so many tangents.