I write essays about my teaching practice and how an empathetic attitude can be translated into teaching action. Also check out my writing over at Unconditional-Teaching.com.
For Christmas 2020, Katharina and I received a box full of lovely letters from students who express their appreciation for our teaching. :)
Working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 is a challenge. This entry grew out of emails that I wrote to students who asked me about strategies to help them focus on their work.
This is a call to teachers and supervisors to take proactive steps to keep in (virtual) touch with your students in a time of crisis.
A living manifesto for healthier relationships in education. A project in collaboration with Katharina Pietsch and Jessica Koch.
In my writing supervision I focus on process instead of results and on reflection instead of adherence to rules to help students experience more agency over their writing when they become aware of their own writing strategies.
Students often express that my responses to their writing are in consonance with their own self-assessment, which motivates them to revise their papers. The specific form of my responses facilitates this congruity, and here’s why.
I found that I can relieve the writing anxiety many of my students have by de-emphasising normative writing advice and facilitating an appreciative, non-evaluative awareness of their individual writing strategies.
Students often have an unhealthy all-or-nothing attitude toward their work which increases stress levels. They relax a bit when they learn to prioritize their work and allow themselves to ‘embrace mediocrity’ on low-stakes tasks to save time and energy.
When students don’t do my prep assignments, I teach them how to ‘downscale’ homework instead of not doing it at all. This leads to homework being done more consistently as it empowers students to consciously manage their resources and priorities.
When I respond to student writing, I want to take it seriously as scholarly work with a communicative intent. This 6-step-method of writing responses makes my feedback as effective as possible both in terms of its usefulness for students and in terms of the time it takes me to do.
Feedback that is given on late-stage draft versions of student writing instead of on finalized papers is more meaningful to students because they can immediately use it for a revision of their work. Especially if the feedback is an appreciative response.
In my experience as a teacher, students apologize far too much. I think that is troubling, so I try to reframe their ‘failure’ to meet some formal expectation or other as a chance to take control of their own learning.
Against the rhetoric of competency-based teaching, I set a rhetoric of teaching strategies which focuses on the resources that students already have rather than on their presumed deficiencies.
Writing academic papers is an incredibly involved procedure which brings together many different skills. Often students achieve better results and more confidence about their work when the writing is scaffolded through a series of interconnected steps.