Tiny Teaching Stories: Observation

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Today's Tiny Teaching Story is by Lisa Lebduska, Professor of English and Director of College Writing at Wheaton College.



As a grad student adjuncting at 3 schools, I always ran late. One rainy day, I flew into my office, changed into dry shoes, then rushed to class. When class ended, a student was waiting for me. "We just wanted you to know," she said, "that we noticed you are wearing two different shoes." I looked with horror from the beige wedge on my left, to the black pump on my right.

"Why didn't anyone say anything?"

"We thought it was another one of those exercises where you were trying to see if we were paying attention to details… We were."


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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.