Here I Am Bragging About My Teaching

Did my semiannual review of my students’ course evaluations this morning, which at my school are complex and quantitative and?if you’re the sort of person who sees your score and then sees your school’s average score and maniacally compares them free of any context, even if the thing scored doesn’t apply in any way to your subject?unhelpful. Sometimes, but rarely, do students write in qualitative comments. For one course, one student did. Here’s part of what they said:

His feedback is so helpful for students needing to make revisions to their written work. In rare instances when perhaps the dialogue exchange isn’t helpful, he hears himself not being helpful and fixes it.

Reading that was one of the proudest moments I’ve had as a teacher.

One of the last things people who know or are partnered/related to me would commend me for is my communication skills, but early on in my teaching ? especially when I started teaching nonfiction ? I realized that listening to what students want to do with their writing is more important than what I think they should do. Being clear about the difference, being clear about how what I think they should try to do stems from what I hear they want to do, is always a challenge. It’s one of the hardest parts of teaching artists how to grow.

So here I am bragging about my teaching, but with the greater point of pointing out something all writing teachers should be working toward.

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