Tiny Teaching Stories: Weight

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CucciarreChristineHeadShot.jpgToday's Tiny Teaching Story is by Christine Cucciarre, Professor of English and Director of Composition at the University of Delaware.



I read the want ads during the pandemic. At the end of each Zoom class, I clicked “Leave Meeting,” and cried. Maybe I could drive a truck. Sling mulch at Home Depot. Stock shelves at Target. Just to go to work. Leave work. Be home. No torment of failing my students, failing myself.

Fall semester I returned to the classroom. Walk to work. Teach. Return home. Repeat. Still, no lingering with students, office conferences, chatting with colleagues in the copy room. 

The sudden weight of the pandemic was so easy to put on, but it’s so hard to take off.


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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.