Category Archives: essays about teaching and writing

Multimedia Resources for a Digital Age

Along with being the Technology Coordinator for the UMass Amherst Writing Program, guest blogger  Shastri Akella teaches first-year writing. He has most recently received his MFA degree  and is currently a PhD candidate in Comparative Literature. “Use a multimedia source as … Continue reading

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Office Concert

Wednesday afternoon I was sitting in my office when Abby and Miguel from my last semester’s College Writing class burst in. “We wanted to show you this,” they said, giving me a copy of Monday’s Daily Collegian. And there they … Continue reading

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Celebrating Writing

This time of year I sometimes find it hard not to be crabby. Although it’s almost the middle of April, it’s still cold in the morning, there is still snow in my yard, and the lake still has ice on … Continue reading

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Seize the Teaching Moment

This week the conversation around campus and the whole Pioneer Valley is the “Blarney Blowout” and its aftermath.  Everyone is talking about it—some are claiming the police are too brutal, some are wondering why the students think it is okay … Continue reading

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Putting Students in Motion

“My class seems really quiet this semester. Is there something I can do to get them talking more? Anything I can do to get more energy in my classroom?” This is a question I’ve been asked frequently this semester. I … Continue reading

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Showing vs. Telling in the Teaching of Revision

Since the start of the semester I’ve been reading course evaluations and talking to teachers about their plans for the semester. These discussions usually lead to teachers wanting to work on a specific part of the curriculum. Sometimes it’s how … Continue reading

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November

The other day in class I found myself answering the same questions over and over. What is it you want us to do again for peer response? Did you say we’re supposed to read the papers out loud? Are we … Continue reading

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The Take Away

This seems to be the new buzz work – the take away. What is the take away? What are the students taking away from this class? What should the take away from this class be? All this talk of a … Continue reading

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Spring Fever

The flu season is over and it looks like spring fever has set in—at least in my class it has.  The week after spring break I could see the beginnings of the symptoms. Although we were all grousing about how … Continue reading

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Drafting Purpose — Is It Done Yet?

When my first-year writing students say to me, “Why do I have to revise? I think my first draft is good.”  I reply, “Why do you want to settle for good enough?” When the writing teachers I mentor ask, “What … Continue reading

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