Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Teaching, Writing, Teaching Writing

I've picked up a fifth class this semester, which yikes, but okay.

It's a writing class -- undergraduate, not called creative writing, but that's essentially what it is. The last time I taught anything like this was when I was a pup, in a disaster (dis-aster, bad star) of a job, at a university that was falling to pieces around me: the administration had given up on the faculty, the faculty hated the administration, the students didn't exactly know what was up, but they knew something bad was happening, and were bailing as fast as they could find berths elsewhere -- anyway, the administration were flat out out to make money from the students anyway they could, then, and piled students in every class: I had two sections of creative writing, with, I believe, 40 students in one and 42 in the other. (Oh, yes, this was, still, somehow, an actual university.) Teaching 40 students per class to do anything with writing, as anyone can tell you, well. I split them into pods of 12-14 and we met once a week, it was still a nightmare.

My point? I don't actually know how to teach this class, I suppose is my point. OTOH, I suppose I know more about how to teach it than I did about how to teach Victorian Lit, and, um...

How hard can it be?

I'll tell them what I know. I'll look at what they're doing. I'll make them cut everything that's not an elephant.

Who has other suggestions?

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