“A remaking of the mind itself”: Margaret Fuller’s Pedagogy & Mine

Teaching Margaret Fuller’s Woman in the Nineteenth Century is instructive in its challenge. The text contains numerous references that take students to task with additional research to understand the import of its anecdotes. The text’s oscillation between essentialism and radical gender fluidity can also perplex the student who expects a linear argument one would find … Continue reading “A remaking of the mind itself”: Margaret Fuller’s Pedagogy & Mine

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Pros & Ants: An Exercise for 19C Lit

Teaching 19th-Century American Literature can be a challenge, especially at 8:10am. It's the time period that I am constantly immersed in for my own work, but for my students my class is often the first time they read a "feminist" text written before the 1960s. We easily get wrapped up in talking about a text … Continue reading Pros & Ants: An Exercise for 19C Lit

Teaching “Women, Gender & U.S. Literature”

When I was assigned "Women, Gender, and U.S. Literature," a 5-week summer course that meets 4 days a week for 2 hours, I stared at my bookshelf ready to put 75% of its contents on the syllabus, then I went to Twitter and asked for suggestions, and then I went to colleagues for help who … Continue reading Teaching “Women, Gender & U.S. Literature”

Replacing the Classroom Circle with Digital Pedagogy

Silence was the thing I used to fear most as an English teacher: the discussion falls flat, none of the students do the reading, or it's simply the 8am or after-lunch lull. My tools to combat silence have been formed over the years: spontaneous group work, an on-topic YouTube video, or rearranging desks into a … Continue reading Replacing the Classroom Circle with Digital Pedagogy

A Story for the Frustrated English Composition Student

This is a story for the frustrated College Writing student, the slow reader, the one who thinks she's bad at writing because she ever struggles and is discouraged. I grew up loving the arroz con pollo my au pair made for me in our tiny house in Miami, Florida. Irene, or "Ree-nee," as I called her, … Continue reading A Story for the Frustrated English Composition Student

Education is the Practice of Freedom

"The vast majority of our professors...used the classroom to enact rituals of control that were about domination and the unjust exercise of power. In these settings I learned a lot about the kind of teacher I did not want to become." -- bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress When my observer asked me about letting my students … Continue reading Education is the Practice of Freedom

My Week Curating for We the Humanities

We the Humanities is a rotation-curation project that I first heard about on Twitter from Krissie West, one of the project's founders. Basically, each week a different person rotates tweeting for We the Humanities, which has a following base of academics, teachers, parents, students, and others interested from around the world. My week came up … Continue reading My Week Curating for We the Humanities

Collaborate, Rotate, Note-Take

Just last week I put together an assignment to have students collaboratively take notes in class. This assignment stems from advice I received from three colleagues, so its very beginnings were collaborative. I am so humbled by the amazing work my fellow teachers are doing at CUNY. Where do I begin? What Do We Mean by … Continue reading Collaborate, Rotate, Note-Take

Learning Drama, Writing Drama

In my second-level composition course, students have the option of doing extra credit, due the day we finish reading Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. The assignment is to write a script that answers the question: "Whatever happened to Christopher Sly?" The play-within-a-play begins with the drunkard Sly who is tricked into behaving like a lord. … Continue reading Learning Drama, Writing Drama