Monday, January 09, 2012

...and the teaching begins.

I know this, because last week I received several e-mails from a student, one of which said, "Still waiting for that syllabus, so I can get started." Before the semester even had officially begun, the people. I am giving myself "good teacher" points for not responding in a tart tone.

Today I published that course, and there are responses to the first discussion, so. You know. Teaching.

But I am actually looking forward--so much--to starting the semester. It's possible that I am cramming too much stuff into pretty much all of my courses. I want my students to have it all! All the learning! So we'll see how that goes.

All that remains is for me to pick an outfit. And, you know, make my notes. Like, prepare.

p.s. In my files, I found a letter I wrote to my students in an online version of the poetry class I'm going to teach tomorrow. I really loved that class. Here's some advice I gave them that I've decided I should remember myself:

"It’s all choices, and [poetic] forms give you some more choices, maybe.  Anyway, I hope that you feel your poetic means have increased as a result of the work you’ve done in the class.  As I’ve observed your work, it seems to me that each poet has done some new and surprising things as a result of these forms.  That’s something worth cherishing, in my book.

I wanted to give you some advice that’s been hard-won for me.  Maybe you get a head start on your poetic life by my sharing it with you.  Here it is:  take the feedback you get and weigh it in your own mind.  At the end of the day, it’s always still your poem, and you get to decide what happens to your poem.  One more bit of advice:  no one—and I mean no one—gets to decide for you whether you write or not.  Only you get to decide whether you write, and what you write.  You don’t need anyone else’s permission."

Cheers to all my teacher peeps. Knock 'em dead. You know, teach.


  1. I went in today with no notes. Just the syllabus and my brain. And, you know, it went fine.
    Also: Friday. So there's that.

  2. I'm just starting to turn my thoughts to my first online chat -- that would be tomorrow. I hope the gods of technology will be on my side.

    Also: Amen to Dr. Write's comments about Friday. There is always that, for which I am profoundly grateful!

  3. Preach it Teacher!



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