Tiny Teaching Stories: Pension

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Today's Tiny Teaching Story is by Stuart Barbier, a Professor of English at Delta College.



“Your Internet connection is unstable,” warned my computer during yet another Zoom. That’s not the only thing that’s unstable, I thought, unable to separate non-work life (gardening and PBS period dramas) from work life (freshman composition and workplace drama). Face-to-face, I taught all students at the same time, answering questions within the class well enough that students rarely contacted me otherwise. Online? Endless emails, texts, phone calls, and videos, assignments trickling in like water torture, twenty-four/seven, as I turn my computer on when I get up and off when I go to bed. Retire, a friend suggested. Alas, too young.



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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.