This year I have had the pleasure of interviewing twenty-five students to learn how they read and interpret their teachers’ written comments. In this podcast, you’ll hear the voices of seven students—Molly Booth, Jorge García, Hudson Gloria, Hannah Jorgenson, Francesco Vito Presta, Sabrina Sawyer, and Adam Zalt—who offer their reflections and experiences to help teachers see comments through their eyes. With passion and conviction, these students speak about the vital role teachers’ comments play in their writing lives. They remind us of the “gifts” we give students when we read their work “word by word, line by line.” Listen in on the reflections of these Bunker Hill Community College students.
Earlier this fall, I had the great opportunity to talk with Catherine Prendergast, Director of the Undergraduate Rhetoric Program at the University of Illinois, and her wonderful colleagues—Lauren Marshall Bowen, Andrew Moss, Richard Nardi, Jordan Sellers, Jonathan Stone, and David Clark Wright—about the topic of “coming to questions.” The Illinois faculty model the process of “coming” to questions rather than “arriving at an answers,” urging students to “be on fire” and “never be at rest” as they explore complex ideas. Listen in on my conversation with Illinois faculty. Read the transcript
I had a spirited conversation recently with Linda Adler-Kasner, Director of UCSB’s Writing Program, and her inspiring colleagues—Doug Bradley, Peter Huk, Jennifer Johnston, Jon Ramsey, and Madeleine Sorapure—about their strategies for motivating students to ask questions they care about. As one teacher commented, she shows students how to “elbow their way in” to a debate “with a unique perspective on things.” The UCSB faculty offer creative strategies for “coming to questions” by “elbowing” and “rooting” and “finding nooks and crannies where students can dig in.” Listen in on my conversation with UCSB faculty.
I had the great opportunity to talk recently with Noreen Lape, Dickinson College’s Writing Program Director, and her wonderful writing center tutors—Ellen Aldin, Tyler Derreth, Audrey Schaefer, Christopher Striker, Rachel Warzala, Amanda Jo Wildey,and Peter Wright—about the vital role of teacher feedback in fostering learning. As one student commented, “comments aren’t an end all, but a gateway to learning.” The Dickinson tutors speak of the ways in which comments open conversations between teachers and students, provide instruction and direction, and shape both writing and the writer. Listen in on my conversation with Dickinson writing center tutors.
On September 1st, I had a lively conversation with Karen Gardiner, Director of Alabama’s First Year Writing Program, and her thoughtful colleagues—Ryan Browne, Erin Chandler, Brooke Champagne, Steffen Guenzel, Kedra James, Jessica Kidd, Brian Morrison—about responding. As one of the teachers remarked, “We are all teachers at heart; our comments are the place where we interact with students, individually, and have a conversation with them, one student at a time.” Listen in on my conversation with Alabama faculty.
On August 18th, I had the great pleasure of talking with Ron Brooks, Associate Director of First-Year Composition at Oklahoma State University, and his colleagues—James Brubaker, James Cooper, Kim Dyer-Fisher, Jessica Glover, Kerry Jones, and Karen Sisk—about creating community in the classroom. The OSU composition program has thought a lot about the importance of community and the role it plays in fostering writing development. Listen in on my conversation with OSU writing faculty. Read the transcript