Monday, July 09, 2007

Summer school

My summer class started this morning. As I noted last year, I almost always really love teaching summer school. I like the intensity of the short session (4 weeks, in this case), of meeting daily.

In fact, as I was saying to C. this morning, I would say my all-around favorite teaching ever were the three summers at Indiana University when I taught Introduction to Composition in the Groups Program. The summer program was (the website has no mention of it that I can find, so I'm assuming it's been discontinued) a bridge program, designed to give the primarily first-generation college students who are admitted to the program a summer of college-level work before classes began in the fall.

These were students who really wanted a college education and who were, for the most part, highly motivated. And, being a first-generation college student myself, I in many ways identified with them.

In fact, teaching in that program was one of the experiences that motivated me to leave a PhD program in American literature for one in rhet/comp. I realized that--hey! wonders of wonders!--students and teachers really *can* talk about writing in the classroom and practice taking on different rhetorical strategies. Somehow teaching comp during the year hadn't provided me with that insight in a very strong way. But the summer experience did.

So, yeah, teaching summer school always feels pretty good to me.

But I don't want to jinx myself. So: knock on wood.


Chad Simpson said...

I realize this is a bit late, but break a leg, Donna.

It's good to hear such enthusiasm for teaching a summer course. I've never done it, and I have to say, it kind of terrifies me. I've been coming up with a course or two for our J-term (which is actually in December) but I'm scared to propose them because I'm worried about what it would be like having to teach for 3-4 hours a day, every day.

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