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ERIC Number: ED355549
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Nov
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
A Letter to My Mother.
Daisley, Margaret
In a letter to her mother, herself a former English teacher, a teaching assistant details impressions of her first year in the Writing Program at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst). During a semester an instructor gets to know writing students individually in a way that pierces deeply through the veneer of stereotype. The class published seven writing anthologies, and in many of them students put their feelings right on the line. Jay, who likely had an undiagnosed learning disability, wrote about his frustrations with school, and about how he had to work five times as hard as the average student to get only half as far. Brian wrote about the discovery of his learning disability and the frustrations and relief of coming to know his own strengths and weaknesses. Laurie wrote about drug use in her family and alcohol abuse in school. After seeing other students "get published," Shawn finally finished his paper with its first-hand description of the outbreak of war in Belgrade. As the teacher got to know the flesh-and-blood students behind the "types," the whole class became better acquainted through group activities like peer editing, class discussions, and the published anthologies. Both for teacher and students, using portfolio grading (not having to evaluate every piece of writing as if it were finished) was liberating. By the end of the semester, both teacher and students had developed a better understanding of the act of writing and of themselves as writers. (SAM)
Publication Type: Guides - General; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A