Today, my Freshmen College Writing students submitted their final portfolios to me by email. During this past semester, we learned about the human brain together, and they wrote about their experiences following different modes: reports, reviews, and meditations. This class was an experiment in combining my current research interests in cognitive science and cultural students with my teaching pedagogy [If you would like to see the class’ syllabus, you can find it here].
I hope that my students found the course stimulating and beneficial despite it being what many of them characterized as a challenging course. As I read over these revised versions of my students’ earlier essays, I will reflect on those things that seemed to connect with my students and those things that did not connect with my students. Studying my students’ work will give me a better idea about how to revise my class in the future. I will also anticipate reading my student survey responses, which I should receive in the Fall.
I am happy to report that one student was excited about the class enough to nominate me for the 2011 Writing Program Outstanding Teaching Award. Unfortunately, I did not ultimately win the award, but it is very satisfying to know that a student cares enough about my teaching to take the time and effort to write an extended nomination letter on my behalf.
This may be my last student teaching experience at Kent State. In Fall 2011, I will work with Professor Derek Van Ittersum in the Office of Digital Composition where I will among other things put together workshops for faculty on using computer technologies and software in the classroom. In Spring 2011, I will have a service-free semester to complete my dissertation, because I received the Kent State Department of English Kenneth R. Pringle Fellowship.
To my past students: I will still be around Kent State, but I will no longer be in my old office. If I can offer advice or provide letters of recommendation, please do not hesitate to contact me at dynamicsubspace at gmail com.