teaching writing AFFECTively

Two English 101 students today reminded me of the importance of writing instructors encouraging their students.  Both students complained about the same instructor.  Both felt the instructor made them feel like they’ll never learn to write well.  One came to tears over it.  One regretted not taking something else (which she had the option to do, since she’s in the Vet Tech program). 

But I think having friendly and encouraging, as well as helpful, people here in the Writing Center made a difference for both of them.  They’ll both finish the class and move on.

Maybe writing instructors should take an Hippocratic-like oath: “In every class I will speak only for the good of my students, keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing.  I will keep in mind students’ literary as well as psychological health [or, at least, their psychological health as it relates to writing].”

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2 thoughts on “teaching writing AFFECTively

  1. Hi Laura,

    I found Cultivated Pages by accident. It’s great. Didn’t know you had a blog for the Writing Center. I love your attitude towards students and I hope hope HOPE I wasn’t the instructor the students were talking about. I don’t think I ever hurt my students that way, but gosh… maybe I do. You probably know all sorts of deep dark secrets about instructor attitudes towards students… Anyway, I’ve been reading the blog for a week or two and I really enjoy it. Shannon (Oh, and feel free to let me know if I am that instructor, because if I am, I want to know it. I don’t ever intend to hurt students.)

  2. Hi, Shannon! I’m thrilled you’ve been reading my blog! And no, you weren’t the instructor they were complaining about. But, yes, we do hear a lot about instructors here in the center. We try to take it all kind of with a grain of salt because, really, we don’t know what’s going on. We just know what the individual student’s perspective is. And I try to pay attention to their perspective — for the sake of encouraging them now and so that in the future – if and when I ever get into the class room — I can remember how easily discouraged students can become.

    We have an official YVCC Writing Center blog, too. But unfortunately that blog is private, for consultants only. We all decided we liked the privacy so that we could feel free to discuss anything without worrying about who’s reading it.

    But, again, I’m thrilled you found my blog. Please comment any time on any thing.

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