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ERIC Number: ED353582
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Pages: 8
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Retread: The (Re)Shaping of an Untrained Composition Teacher.
Wilson, Donald
The reminiscences of a professor who has taught writing from junior high through college serve in this paper to illustrate that the beginnings of a teaching career are usually marked by both enthusiasm and, frankly, a good deal of ignorance. Two important lessons for beginning teachers are to learn to respect experienced teachers and to learn to disdain the notion of becoming a "classroom cop." The rigors of teaching writing at a junior college, with 5 sections of 30 students each, can be almost unbelievably mind-numbing and very frustrating. For many teachers, being thrown into such a backbreaking position is the only formal training they will ever receive. The training programs of many graduate schools for their teaching assistants verge on the ludicrous or at least the completely superficial. Over the past two decades, many models of teaching writing and various trends and theories have come and gone, with teachers still wondering and disagreeing about how best to teach writing. Still, numerous writing programs, labs, computer-based teaching models, and other innovations have dazzled practitioners and greatly improved the teaching of writing. Meanwhile, other more traditional aspects of writing, like asking for a finished "product" and teaching rhetoric, continue to hold sway. In the end, perhaps the most difficult lesson to learn is this: writing teachers cannot teach students "how to write." But perhaps they can help students to overcome their fear of writing and to foster a proper attitude toward writing. (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A