Tuesday, January 29, 2008

lauren's post

I guess I'm in the minority here when I say that I don't much like teaching 102, although that might just be because I haven't settled into a comfortable routine yet and my timeline for the researched position paper feels way off ... I am happy about the sequence of assignments leading up to the paper, but there doesn't seem to be enough time to teach them what they need to know, or at least I haven't been able to figure it out yet. we talked about what my book calls TRACE (text, reader, author, constraints, exigence) for a day or two in relation to nickel and dimed, and then I had them write a paper exploring how class functions in their lives; then we had two big discussions on class and politics, of which only a third of the class participated (dilemma: should I force the silent ones to participate? should I say to myself, they're the ones paying the money, so if they want to not participate, it's their loss? I gravitate towards the latter, but I don't know). I managed to squeeze ethos, pathos, and logos into one of conversations but not very successfully. I suppose I had it in my head to have a couple abstract discussions on class just to get them into the idea, but according to my syllabus they'll soon have to pick a topic and start digging around in source material. I consider myself something of an unimaginative teacher in that I don't often do (am not often able to think of) "fun" or interesting exercises--I sort of structure the class period in terms of what I like best, just a big, fat, fun, heady discussion, but that doesn't seem sufficient in 102 and I'm not sure how to handle that...

From Erin

In response to Alex: Right now we're on the second chapter of Nickel and Dimed. Our discussions have revolved around Ehrenreich's approaches to her project and social class--coming up with a working definition of social class. I've asked my students to find some numbers about poverty statistics in Alabama. A lot of students discussed what they found in their eLearning journals and were surprised that Alabama is one of the top ten poorest states in the country. I feel that we've done enough work on ethos, logos, pathos since their first paper was to analyze an op-ed piece and identify its claim and warrant, and elements of ethos, pathos, logos, kairos. I'm trying to reinforce that elements of ethos, pathos, and logos exist, but successful writers aren't necessarily aware or deliberate in their use of them, that successful writers are more intuitive and recursive in their writing practices. With Nickel and Dimed I'm trying to get these students engaged in the subject matter because they're expected to use these issues to prompt their research projects.

In response to Cristiana's prompt:
I'm really enjoying teaching 102. The class discussions have been more spontaneous. Students have been able to respond to each other without looking at me as the interlocutor. I really like their discussions over the upcoming elections. A lot of students have been upfront about the candidates they're interested in and the issues they're concerned about. They all seem excited to be voting for the first time in what will be a historical presidential race.

The difference between students in 101 and 102

Kwoya: So far this semester I have enjoyed teaching 102 more than 101 because of my students. I felt pressured to baby my students first semester because they were so insecure and uninformed about the expectations of college. These students are a lot more confident and comfortable. The class is definitely more lively and more interesting for me to teach. I am finding teaching to be a challenge because in addition to teaching two classes, I'm taking three classes and working on my thesis. There have been so many days when I didn't even want to teach! I feel mentally drained all week. However, having a more excitable bunch of students this semester has really helped. Its given me more energy than I would have other wise.

pedagogy discussion

en 534

cristiana: : : is this discussion supposed to be geared towards a specific issue? or just a general platform for our early experiences teaching en 102:

if the latter, how is everyone liking teaching en 102? i'm finding it much easier than 101, in the sense that it feels less "broad." there's more structure to my lesson plans - - mainly because i feel like i'm not just sort of randomly giving my students reading assignments.