This past week, I “cancelled” class for conferences. My ENG 111 students were required to come see me with a complete, though not final, draft so we could discuss where they were and where they were going in the writing process for Project 2.
Conferences are my favorite teaching method. I do best in one-on-one situations because I can cater the learning experience to the learner. I think students enjoy it as well because they can ask me all the questions they might have or they realize during our meeting without worrying about other students judging them. It’s also a good moment to demonstrate to my students what I value about their writing and participation.
I do feel that requiring students to see me in a space such as my office or the library reminds them that the writing process is one that exists and is practiced beyond the classroom. But I want to think about how I can get students to be as engaged in the classroom as they are when it’s just me and the student workshopping their project. It’s difficult to engage them in the “general public” version of what they’re each doing individually, as not much is at stake for student X when it doesn’t involve student X specifically. How can we teach and emphasize the collective responsibility of writing to our students? This is what I want to consider as we now shift into making arguments, a form of writing that embodies responsibility.