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].”