Thursday, September 12, 2013

Writing is Like Metaphor Series: The Mess of Writing is Like Thanksgiving Dinner

One of the biggest challenges I face as a writing teacher is getting students to trust in mess. Writing is messy, but most of the finished products we see are neat, tidy, and easy to follow. Students start brainstorming and tell me that the draft they've produced is "a disaster" or "terrible." I try to tell them that the draft they've produced is perfectly fine, just unfinished.

To help drive that point home, I often compare it to Thanksgiving dinner.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Conversations: Overcoming Dispositional Barriers

                 Phone with Arabic Numbers.

How to Overcome Dispositional Barriers in Developmental Education? Make a phone call.

When our students are absent from class, do we call them or not?  I say yes, and I do call my absent students.  I call all of my college-ready online students too, in order to put them at ease with the course. Sometimes the absent students return to class and sometimes they don't, but I've always been able to establish a connection that leaves the door open for that student to return the next semester.  When I see my absent students on campus or in my community, I ask them where they have been.  I invite them back to class. I have had a few successful outcomes where students who thought they had no chance to complete their studies return and do well. This is known as intrusive advising, a practice that faculty and advising or counseling staff can do to help students adjust to college culture.