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

Teaching Consent, Revisited

The sad thing about teaching a composition course in which sexual violence is the major topic, is that it is always still relevant. An updated report from the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) in the Education Department says that there are now 306 sexual violence cases being investigated at 225 schools in the U.S. These investigations result from the … Continue reading Teaching Consent, Revisited

Use Secondary Sources in College Composition, But Use Them Wisely

About to begin teaching my favorite second-level composition course for the sixth time, I can safely say that I know every required secondary reading has a clear purpose in the syllabus. I look forward to how each one will inform and pivot in-class discussion, deepening our understanding of the primary texts and how they've been … Continue reading Use Secondary Sources in College Composition, But Use Them Wisely

Using Reacting to the Past to Teach English Composition 101

When I asked if I could use Reacting to the Past (RTTP) in my new English Composition 101 class, and the answer was "yes," I could barely contain my excitement. It can be difficult to convince someone who hasn't seen game-based learning that role play enhances student performance, yes, even in formal writing. I've been trained by … Continue reading Using Reacting to the Past to Teach English Composition 101

Teaching The Awakening + One Speed Writing Exercise

I've been teaching Kate Chopin's The Awakening (1899) in the Intro to Writing About Literature course for two years, and I've found it fits a shorter paper assignment better than it does a research paper (you can read my writing prompt for the short paper here). However, this semester I taught Chopin immediately after the long research paper … Continue reading Teaching The Awakening + One Speed Writing Exercise

Feminist Pedagogy: Scaffolding the Research Paper

Teaching Consent in the College Classroom (Part 2) [Read Part 1] Backwards Pedagogy and a Gender Studies theme for the semester turned out some really thorough and unique research papers in my Intro to Writing About Literature class. As I'm grading: there are papers drawing from medieval science and the humours as well as neonatology and … Continue reading Feminist Pedagogy: Scaffolding the Research Paper

Learning Drama through Writing

This semester, I approached my Composition students with a new assignment that they themselves had a hand in creating and making possible. As part of the Intro to Writing About Literature course, I teach drama, fiction, and poetry. Each genre presents its own challenges but drama, in particular, is difficult to get into when students … Continue reading Learning Drama through Writing