Sunday, May 3, 2009

My Favorite

This semester of teaching has been my favorite so far. I've had some really great students and finally feel like I've had enough practice to know at least a little of what works with a class. In the past couple of days, I've been reading and grading final exams. For all three of my classes, the final was the same - a personal reflection over the semester where the student had to write, in class, at least 2 pages about how they've changed as a writer.

A big part of my pedagogy is based in metacognition. In my own writing, I know that really paying attention to what I'm doing and why is one of the best ways for me to learn. That's one of the reasons I have this blog - writing about writing makes me a better writer. So, in class, I ask my students to do the same. Of all the writing they produce throughout the semester, the reflective writings are always the most interesting to me. Students who struggle with the formal writings can really open up in reflections and they usually say some really smart things.

Usually, I am very cautious about discussing my teaching and my students in a public forum. Today I make an exception:

"Throughout this class, I have evaluated and re-evaluated my work. It is always interesting to me to see my progress. It's like a journal, in that going back occasionally allows you to remember and understand where you have been, and where you are going."

"Over the course of this semester I was able to find that I have the potential of becoming a good writer."

"This has really opened my eyes and made me pay more attention to the things I am reading, and to the things I am writing, because what you may want the reader to get out of the reading may not be what you had in the reading at all."

"Reading and thinking critically are a huge part of being an effective and efficient writer."

"I have learned to not write for myself, but for the person reading the paper..."

"I can say now that I do get excited to write now because I have something new to show."

That last one is my favorite.


Jenny said...

I'm sorry, but "A big part of my pedagogy is based on metacognition."

You have your *own* pedagogy?

I'm sorry again, but this sentence made me smile.

Jenny said...

But those are fantastic comments. Go teacher!

Ali said...

Yes, I have my own. So there :) I admit, I am officially immersed in the academic discourse community, etc. etc. Besides, pedagogy is just a fun word.

Debbie said...

Yay, Ali. Shaping young minds. Good on ya.

A tad bit scary, but good on ya.