My Statement

19 Jan

My truest hope for students is that they teach themselves.  That they entertain the ideas and methods I offer, make them their own, and teach themselves something new about their abilities, that they learn they’re more capable than they ever thought they were with reading critically and writing.  Much of the way I accomplish this as the instructor of record, or partially as I credit mostly the students for what transpires in the room, is solidifying a safe, impassioned, free exchange of ideas.  I always stress onus, often capitalizing all letters and writing on the board… ONUS.  It’s always theirs.  The onus is with their reads, with what they write in their journals and in every syllable they utter in a critical discussion.  I help them understand this, realize it, see and feel it.

Usually at the beginning of a term, many students express the desire to want to become “better writers”.  Some even bluntly ask me, on the first day, “How do I do that?” or “How will you help me do that?”  Answer to first, “You write, you practice, tirelessly, over and over, and you READ.” To second, “You will help you do that, I will help you help YOU.” My pedagogy has always, since my fist class at Chabot back in Spring 2006, prided and predicated itself on actuation, on constant activity on student behalf.  Yes, they have jobs, other classes, family and social lives, but I stress to them that there’s always a way.  You can always find time.

Another parcel of my teaching method is inviting the student to realize the gift of being a student, how much you can discover through study, and writing freely in your journal.  You understand your story better, what you’re in the classroom, and what you can do with your classroom presence, your matriculated narrative.  Ideas, the journal, start there.  With YOU.

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