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Pedagogue Podcast: Advice to First-Time Teachers

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353980_Pedagogue+podcast+image.pngAugust Greetings! I’m writing to let you know about Pedagogue, a podcast project hosted by Shane Wood. Shane’s project is to create short episodes exploring a single topic about composition teaching or research.

In his own words, “Pedagogue is a podcast about teachers talking writing, dedicated to building a supportive community, committed to facilitating conversations that move across institutions and positions, and designed to help celebrate the labor teachers do inside and outside the classroom. Each episode is a conversation with a teacher (or multiple teachers) about their experiences teaching writing, their work, inspirations, assignments, assessments, successes, and challenges. The podcast is meant to promote diverse voices at various institutions and help foster community and collaboration among teachers of writing.”

Recently, I had the pleasure of talking with Shane and recording a podcast. Our conversation began with Shane’s question: “What advice would you give first-time writing instructors?” Wow—what a wonderful question, I thought. I can’t imagine work more exhilarating (and exhausting) than teaching writing—work that requires humility and leaps of faith and the desire to listen to and learn from our students. You’ll hear my enthusiasm for teaching and advice to first-time writing instructors here.

I would love to hear your advice for first-time writing instructors. Let’s start a conversation.

With every good wish,
Nancy

Image and Pedagogue description courtesy of Shane A. Wood.

1 Comment
Macmillan Employee
Macmillan Employee

Thank you, Shane Wood, and thank you, Nancy Sommers! Your advice is timely for those of us planning to return to teaching in a matter of days. I really appreciate the reminder to think of myself as a writer--not only as a teacher of writing. It's helpful to think of my assignments as pieces of writing for a primary audience (my students) and a secondary audience (my course coordinator) and as pieces of writing that have multiple purposes--to inform, to argue, to describe a process, and, of course, to call to action. As I'm responding to students' drafts in September, I'll also remind myself to respond as a writer. That's a nice idea.

About the Author
Nancy Sommers, who has taught composition and directed writing programs for more than thirty years, now teaches in Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. A two-time Braddock Award winner, Sommers is well known for her research and publications on student writing. Her articles “Revision Strategies of Student and Experienced Writers” and “Responding to Student Writing” are two of the most widely read and anthologized articles in the field of composition. She has also created three films—Shaped by Writing, Across the Drafts, and Beyond the Red Ink—to bring the voices of student writers into a larger discussion about writing instruction. Nancy Sommers is currently the coauthor of Diana Hacker’s best-selling handbooks: The Bedford Handbook, A Writer’s Reference, Rules for Writers, A Pocket Style Manual, and Writer’s Help (see hackerhandbooks.com). Her newest instructor resource, Responding to Student Writers, offers a model for thinking about response as a dialogue between students and teachers.