So my last post sounds pretentious! No one has accused me of this, mind you. I’m indicting myself. Good God! If I were smart I would probably delete the thing. But in the spirit of honesty and transparency, I’ll let it be. I thought it. I wrote it. I’m guilty as charged. How do my friends even tolerate me, my family not disown me, my partner–well, what can I say–she puts up with a LOT!
Seriously now–these are the ways I know I can improve as a teacher!
First, I could organize my composition course around an arc that currently interests and challenges me–rather than sticking with the same old “space and place” theme because it’s easier. Admittedly, I keep telling myself I’m tweaking and improving the thing–perfecting it even. And, yes, I had late last semester developed an arc to test drive in the fall, but that was before this grand Asian experiment became a reality. That progression began with an essay on happiness, continued with one on homelessness and then another on hunger, and ended with a paper on hope. I was, for lack of a better name, calling it the ” Four H’s”–admittedly that needed a bit of work–okay, a lot.
Secondly, if I were sticking with the space/place theme, I could develop a reading packet that better suits that approach to looking at “issues of social relevance.” The problem is–I like the Engaged Citizen–it may be slightly agenda-driven, but it’s an agenda I believe in! So, I’m afraid my own ambivalence may prevent me from integrating readings as well as I might were I using a collection of essays I assembled myself. And it may be that my personal life as a reader and my self as a writer are not as well integrated as they might be. This particular form of schizophrenia may not appear in the DSM–but I may manifest a few symptoms of the disorder and inadvertently carry them with me into the classroom. I’ll have to give this more thought. It’s not that I mean to imply my approach to teaching composition is diseased in any way and certainly not pathological, for that matter.
Wow–I may have to stop here. Identifying these “weaknesses” is leaving me, well–weak. My pedagogical top 10 may be little more than a top 2 at this point. But what can I say? I guess, I’m not a perfect teacher! OMG!