I was the middle-aged cliché who returned to college to teach composition courses, sure that my life experience and earlier careers would make me an ideal instructor. Instead, my success is in how I motivate students’ self-discipline and self-responsibility. I prod them in order to provoke an original idea. My ego would like credit for inspiring the epiphany moments when students make the interdisciplinary connection between English and other communities of knowledge, but they have to seek it. I’ve tempered idealism with basic, realistic challenges. I started politely, eager to please; now, I’m assertive and prefer respect to popularity. With my rules, expectations, and forewarnings of how composition skills apply outside academia, I am the awakening for students who disregarded earlier language/literature lessons, In turn, my students inspire me to learn new skills and methodologies. I’ve never worked harder, and I thank them.
University of Toledo, Ohio
9 years of teaching
Composition and Sustainability: Teaching for a Threatened Generation
Author: Derek Owens
Derek Owens argues that, in light of worsening environmental crises and accelerating social injustices, we need to use sustainability as a way to structure courses and curricula, and that composition studies, with its inherent cross-disciplinarity and its unique function in students’ academic lives, can play a key role in giving sustainability a central place in students’ thinking and in the curriculum as a whole.
Composition and/or Literature:
The End(s) of Education
Editor(s): Linda S. Bergmann, Edith M. Baker
This collection focuses on the rift between literature and composition in English studies, examining the extent to which this division affects teaching practices in colleges and universities.