A few things about teaching writing that drive me a little bit crazy:
- Writing students who say they don't read much (huh?).
- Giving an open-ended writing assignment and having students ask for very specific guidelines.
- Giving a tightly-defined writing assignment and having students ask for fewer guidelines.
- Students who say they'd rather write than do anything else in the world – and then can't (won't?) complete a short writing assignment.
Some things I love:
- I read an excerpt from an author I'm very familiar with, and when students respond, I learn something new and unexpected.
- How quickly a supportive atmosphere develops around any table where writers gather to learn.
- When I think I've said everything I can on a topic, and then someone asks a great question and the discussion continues.
- Watching a student intently scribbling, just after class ends, eager to get their words down, which were somehow pried loose by something they read, heard or thought about during class.
- When I worry that I'm veering off topic a little, and then finding students fully engaged, and realizing it's a lot more on-point than what I had originally prepared.
- That aha look. Theirs, or mine.
- The Writers Circle (Northern NJ) Spring registration open. I'm teaching in Summit, Ridgewood, Montclair.
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