May the FOD be with you!

I’ve been reading letters written to me by my English 090 (developmental writing) students. They are their “Readiness Letters” in which they reflect on their learning this term and make a case for whether they are ready for the next level (English 095). Yesterday one depressed me because the student pointed out how she had “learned comma splices this term.” Not the first time I’d seen such a statement in a student paper, but it’s still depressing. Clearly, she’d learned the term, but hadn’t yet got a handle on what they are or how to avoid them.

This morning, though, I read one which included this paragraph (below). Yay. A shot in the arm.

I think you also had an impact on my learning. You made the class fun and it made me want to be there to learn. Some teachers are kind of serious and you were not. I know you were serious about us learning, but you made some jokes about what we learning that I found it more comfortable to participate. I especially like your saying “May the FOD be with you!” It helped me remember that in my essays I need to be focused on my thesis, organize my essay correctly, and have good examples and details in my development stage. I have noticed that when you make up little sayings like that, it makes it easier to remember things. More teachers should teach how you do.

FOD, by the way, stands for Focus, Organization, and Development.

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