Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Little Boost

One of my colleagues posted today about how hard he's finding it to teach first year students, and contrasting the ways his MA students and intro students have handled their respective assignments, in class discussions, and so forth.  He sounds really beaten down.

Then I went to the final peer revision day for my first year writing course.  Now, these students are exceptionally motivated, because they all want to get into our nursing program, and it's really tough to get into.  We've been working cooperatively with a nursing class, so they've been mostly writing on related topics that they're really interested in.

Anyway, I read and gave feedback on several really excellent drafts.  At the end, I gave one last student feedback.  They'd written a really strong draft for the project, and were commenting on how much they'd learned doing to last two projects. 

And then they talked a bit about how much they'd learned in college, and how, sitting with some friends, talking into the wee hours, they'd really felt like they're in college, like they're having the sorts of deep conversations that college is supposed to be about.  (We try to foster those conversations in classes, of course, but sometimes, the best college conversations happen in dorms and stairwells, with nary an instructor in sight.)

It really gave me hope.  These particular students have come a long way in their writing; they're all thinking more complexly about things than they were just a few short months ago.

And they'll continue to grow.  That does give me some hope.  Really, it does.  I feel so much better after talking with her than I did before.


  1. So good to get such a boost at the end of the term!

  2. That *is* encouraging. I've had a few students who had sought out a lot of help, but who I wasn't sure were going to pull off a passing big final paper in the end, rally in the final days of the semester, and it's a really good feeling to see things falling into place. It's also nice to know that their interests reach beyond the classroom.

    Also, nurses are, indeed, very rewarding to work with. I think it's because they're both smart (because yes, programs tend to be selective, and the required courses are tough) and tend to have people skills. It's an nice combination.