my approach to teaching

We write to learn to write.
As a teacher, I am committed to cultivating conditions that lead to more conducive learning environments:
  • Assignments must have meaning to the student writers.
  • Student writers must have formal and informal opportunities in the classroom to draft and revise.
  • Student writers must receive comments while they are writing, not as an end result.
  • Student writers must have opportunities to receive feedback at all stages of the writing process.
  • Student writers must understand and make numerous choices about their writing, including topic, context, audience, purpose, text, organization, support, style, tone, and lower-order concerns.
To enable these conditions, I design physical, virtual, and intellectual classroom spaces for students to work. 
Students in my courses engage with peers—with fellow learners and fellow writers—as part of an intellectual community, on a daily basis and in a variety of contexts. 
Students in my courses learn strategies that they can use in the future, strategies that will help them be productive students, productive professionals, and productive citizens; more importantly, students in my courses learn strategies to engage in inquiry, problem-solving, reflection, analysis, decision-making, and expression within the classroom, within the university, at home, at work, and as members of society.
We write to participate.
As a teacher, I promote a student-centered classroom and pedagogy by creating non-threatening spaces where students exchange ideas freely. I take a social-epistemic approach to teaching: knowledge is created and located within social formations.
I believe that students will come to understand new information most effectively when given opportunities to apply it in the terms of discourses that they are comfortable and familiar with. My courses help students construct knowledge in productive and meaningful ways through dialogue and interaction. 
I acknowledge that students bring a myriad of lived experiences to the classroom, and I try to challenge them to think in more diverse ways, to value both similarities and differences in thought, to interact productively with texts and with each other, and to begin to meet their long-term personal and professional goals by using reading and writing in more complex ways.
We write to act.
As a teacher, I define students in my courses as active, literate adults engaging in intellectual projects. I value what students say, and I am committed to making every course that I teach a positive learning experience. As such, we negotiate our use of groupwork, the shape of our discussions, the way we distribute the workload, the value of our experiences, and the construction of the assignments that they submit for evaluation.
I want to empower students so that they can take what they learn and apply it in the future. I try not “tell” students the “right” answer because to me the most productive learning occurs among co-learners thinking critically and reflectively. I provide students with opportunities to learn, put them in positions to build on prior knowledge, and promote connections between my course and their future aspirations. 
But I also understand that students are ultimately responsible for their own education.

My approach to: ScholarshipTeachingAdministrationWriting