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Reflections: Journeys in First-Year Writing

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There are moments in our teaching lives that can feel epic, as much for what happens outside the classroom as inside. This semester was my first semester teaching in New York City after five years away, and it has often felt like a journey with a strong sense of purpose: non-linear, a quest or picaresque narrative, where kairos matters more than destination. Nonetheless, we have arrived at the end of the semester, and it is time for final reflections.

The reflection assignment for this term invites students to consider their first semester in college and their first college writing course as a journey. My hope is that this reflection will invite students to consider writing as a process that goes hand-in-hand with their self-discovery in their first semester.

Good journeys to all!

End-of-Semester Reflection

Consider your work in this writing course as a journey that began in August 2018 and that culminates in a significant destination in December 2018. As part of that journey, reflect on the significance of our theme: The Rhetorical Power of Stories. Your reflection should be 600-800 words and can be arranged in paragraph form. Select at least 3 (or more) of these questions to frame your reflection.

  1. What are some of the most important stories about this journey?
    • Beginning or end points?
    • Stopping places?
    • Places of celebration and/or frustration?
  2. Where does your WP 3 fit into this journey?
  3. What did you learn about the rhetorical power of stories from our course texts?
  4. What is your philosophy of writing?
    • What wisdom did you gain that you can call on in future writing experiences inside or outside of the classroom?
    • What awareness did you achieve about writing that you would like to share with others, including the professor and students just beginning the writing course?
  5. What do you want to add that isn’t included here?
1 Comment
Migrated Account

Beautiful post...I also like your last one about having the students design

a syllabus...

These are ideas to keep in mind if I teach comp again!

On Mon, Dec 10, 2018 at 10:02 AM susan.bernstein <

About the Author
I am a writer and teacher living in Queens, New York. My book is "Teaching Developmental Writing" 4e. Other recent publications include “Occupy Basic Writing: Pedagogy in the Wake of Austerity,” in Nancy Welch and Tony Scott’s collection Composition in the Age of Austerity, and an entry on ASU-Tempe’s Writing Program, in collaboration with Shirley K. Rose and Brent Chappelow, in Writing Program Architecture, edited by Bryna Siegel Finer and Jamie Farnham-White. An article on graduate education and basic writing is forthcoming in Journal of Basic Writing. I co-coordinated the Stretch Writing Program at ASU-Tempe from 2013-2018.