Throughout this semester, I have explored various teaching elements, which have been evident through my blog posts. I have read and analyzed Naming What We Know and learned about the five threshold concepts. I have explored how these concepts are apparent in assignments of various professors. I have also thought about how I want to incorporate these thresholds into my classroom. At the beginning of the semester, my first blog post, The Oxymoron of Writers: Dark and Welcoming, covered how writing is an ongoing learning process. I began the blog by stating, “Writers can learn from each other, both by discussing with each other and reading other writers’ works” (Sibert para. 1). I also conveyed how I want to emphasize how relevant writing is to every day life. One of the things I emphasized int this blog is that “good” writing cannot be determined. My thoughts on this have not changed throughout the semester. In my future classroom, I do not students to use words such as “good” to describe writing. I want to encourage students to use words such as “effective” or “enrapturing” for writing. After going through the rest of the semester and delving more into the various concepts, working on group projects, analyzing assignments, and creating my own. I must say that some of the factors that I mentioned are still true. Writing is an ongoing process. This relates to Threshold Concept 4: All Writers Have More to Learn. All students, professors of writing, and all writers in general, will continue to learn from each other. They will learn from each other through discussion, research, drafting, and peer review. I believe that students learn best by doing, so I want to encourage students to participate in the writing and learning process by asking questions and discussing, so they can continue learning and growing as writers, students, and people. It is imperative to incorporate the threshold concepts into the classroom. When I analyzed a professor’s syllabus, I was able to see how the threshold concepts seamlessly fold into various assignments.
I also emphasized that I had excellent connections with my professors, especially English/writing professors, so I hope to make those same connections with my students. That is one of the main reasons I want to teach writing. Another reason would be that I admire that writing is a continuous learning process. As the students are learning from me, I will be learning from them. Creating that community aspect is important in a classroom.
I want to create a welcoming space where people feel free to express themselves. In my first blog I stated, “I hope to show everyone that writers are extremely welcoming. I hope to encourage that inclusivity and inspire students to welcome new ideas, thoughts, and people into their lives. I want people to know that writing is a way for everyone to have their voice heard” (Sibert para. 5) I feel that my goal as a future educator is to get students involved and asking questions about everything. They should be asking questions about themselves, about the processes of things, research, etc.
My main goals as a professor are to encourage students to challenge themselves and look at things from a different perspective, whether that be a topic or an aspect of the writing process. Self-expression and identity are two aspects that I plan to incorporate in the classroom. One of the threshold concepts that I admire those most is Threshold Concept 3: Writing Enacts and Creates Identities and Ideologies. I want to incorporate this threshold concept into my classroom by encouraging students to speak their voice and encouraging them to challenge themselves. They should be asking questions and evolving their thought processes, which will help students learn more about their beliefs. I included a video on my identity blog post that displays a person expressing their identity through poetry. I find this to be extremely relevant, as I want to encourage students to express themselves however they want. I also am a huge supporter of poetry, so I plan on using these types of examples in my classroom.
I feel that as a professor, I am a leader. It is not a professor’s job to tell students what to do but rather guide them on how to figure it out themselves. I want to encourage students and supply them with the tools to come to their own conclusions and form their own way of doing things. The scaffolded assignment that I designed dealt with forming research questions out of broad topics. This will allow students to see how many different topics can be made from a singular thought. They will later be paired with another person with a different topic for a peer review. After completing the peer review, they will write a critique that will analyze the effectiveness of their article. As I mentioned earlier, they will not be commenting on whether it is a “good” argument or if they agree or disagree but rather on the effectiveness of the argument. This will also help students to have more practice understanding the writing process. Writing this critique will also give students a chance to reflect upon their own writing. I wrote a blog post earlier in the year about the importance of self-reflection in writing; it is a vital part of the writing process because it allows us to better understand our own writing and how we can approve. Taczak states that reflection is how “writers develop and improve” (78). I definitely want to give students the chance to reflect on what they have learned, as well as their own writing process.
The readings and activities in this class have allowed me to explore how I may want to set up my own classroom. Although I am still in the early stages of devising a teaching philosophy, I know that creating a welcoming, safe environment is one of those most important aspects to me. I want to encourage this through self-expression, identity, and encouraging the students to challenge themselves. I want to be a guide in their journey of their writing and learning processes. I am exciting to see how my teaching philosophy evolves as I continue to experience more of the concepts and have more interactions with professors and students; after all, just like writing, a teaching philosophy is a continuous learning process.
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Adler-Kassner, Linda, and Elizabeth A. Wardle. Naming What We Know: Threshold Concepts of Writing Studies. Classroom ed., Utah State University Press, 2016.
“Five Reasons Why Writing is Important.” EssayMasters, 6 September 2019, https://www.essaymasters.co.uk/five-reasons-why-writing-is-important-in-real-world.
Fleckstein, Wyatt. and Button Poetry.“Labels (CUPSI 2014)” YouTube, 24 June 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWsId7od794 Accessed 12 September 2019.
Sibert, Peyton. “Find Yourself in Writing.” Peyton’sPages, 12 September 2019, https://peytonspages.com/academic-blog/find-yourself-in-writing/.
Sibert, Peyton. “The Oxymoron of Writers: Dark and Welcoming.” Peyton’sPages, 25 August 2019, https://peytonspages.com/academic-blog/the-oxymoron-of-writers-dark-and-welcoming/
Taczak, Kara. “Reflection is Critical for Writers’ Development” Naming What We Know: Threshold Concepts of Writing Studies, Classroom Edition. Ed. Linda Adler-Kassner and Elizabeth Wardle, Utah State University Press, 2016, 78-79.
“Writing Your Teaching Philosophy.” University of Minnesota, 22 November 2019, https://cei.umn.edu/writing-your-teaching-philosophy.