Thursday, September 27, 2012

Adapt or Cry

I totally changed the composition course today.  Well, not totally, since it still follows the big overarching plan that we're supposed to share with all the other sections.

But the biking part?  That's totally gone.

The students hated it.  They don't want to talk about biking.  And their hatred (well, mostly) meant that I was constantly dealing with glowering students.  And I don't need that.

So today, we brainstormed what they'd like to learn and write about, and put a big list on the board, and then narrowed the list, and then narrowed further, and they'll be choosing from these three topics:

Local Sports Team  (and alas, its' not Omega Pharma or Sky)
Desserts  (yep, I checked the spelling, so not the dry areas)
The Election

Now they have a project to find stuff, but that's fine because they aren't going to make me miserable, and they'll find good stuff (at least in aggregate) because they're finding stuff about stuff they care about.

And I won't be made miserable.

And they'll learn what they need to learn about writing, and maybe they won't be miserable either.

These are all good things.


  1. Being flexible is good. I know students are happier when they are writing about something they are interested in. The only thing that stinks is when you are not interested in the things they are writing about. Alas. I guess the point isn't to entertain yourself. :)

  2. Some situations call for a reboot; I'm glad you've got the flexibility to do so in this case. I hope that it all works well, or at least well enough so that there isn't so much glowering.