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Tiny Teaching Stories: Mirror

nancy_sommers
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Today's Tiny Teaching Story is by Kyle McIntosh, an Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Writing at the University of Tampa where he teaches in the Academic Writing and TESOL Certificate programs.

 

Mirror

“The professor always provides such useful feedback. I don’t know how he has time to read each paper so carefully,” wrote a student on my course evaluation last fall. “He never gives us any feedback,” wrote another. “He doesn’t care about students at all.” Suddenly, I wondered: “Are there two versions of me – one good teacher and one bad – who appear to different students in the same class at different moments on different days? And which one is the me who is reading these comments now?” Just to be safe, I shave off my goatee.

 

Submit your own Tiny Teaching Story to tinyteachingstories@macmillan.com! See the Tiny Teaching Stories Launch for submission details and guidelines.

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.