Teachers as writers

Alexs Pate, the author of Amistad, visited my college last year to speak about rap, writing and a whole mess of stuff that was on his mind. I ran across a one-sentence note I made during his talk:

Writers need an empathetic imagination with their characters.

Rephrase this as:

Teachers need an empathetic imagination with their students.

And now it’s beautifully stated as a core principle of my teaching. On end of course evaluations, I add this task (and others) to the form:

I believe it is important for a teacher to see their content through his/her students’ eyes; not just to understand things in his/her own way.

What evidence have you seen that I attempted to see the content of this course through the eyes of an [e.g.] 1100 student?

And these comments are the ones that most guide my planning for future semesters. When diverse students cite diverse aspects of the course, I know I have done well. When students leave this blank or if they all cite the same thing, I know there is work to be done.

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One response to “Teachers as writers

  1. Pingback: [WTF] Understanding student thinking | Overthinking my teaching

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