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Returning to school has been a complicated experience for me (as it is for almost everyone, Im

sure). On one hand, Id gotten used life outside of the academy: being able to read and write and
work at my own pace with no obligations following me home from my day job to distract from
that. On the other hand, I only spent a year outside of that environmentwhere I spent five
consecutive years in a combination of undergrad and grad school. Was I going back to a
university too soon? This course has most certainly dispelled these woes as I now see more than
just my own schooling before me. The opportunity to teach is something that Im genuinely
looking forward to, and I feel like this course, in tandem with the internship, has adequately
prepared me for beginning.
Of course there were times in the last six weeks when I would have rather been writing
my own stuff, reading what I wanted, and engaging in composition on my own terms, but the
approach that LAE 5370 takes is one that I admire. If we hadnt started broad, with a number of
large, slow readings about the theory and pedagogy behind rhetoric, genre and composition, I
would have surely kept to my own, evidently outdated (or perhaps narrow-minded?) definitions
of what these things mean. What Ive learned from these readings can now be distilled in a way
similar to what Hemingway advocates for in his ice-berg metaphoronly the tip can be seen
above a great mass; you need to know a lot to show authentically even the littlest detail; when
Im teaching in the classroom, these readings will be the foundation I bring to digestible lessons.
All of this also worked to provide a framework for the brass tacks that Ive learned through my
own internship and through the more evidently practical later readings. The one that spoke most
to myself was definitely Lad Tobins Process Pedagogy. Not only did this piece effectively
support what I already ardently believe inwriting (composition) as processbut it also

highlighted the process of being a teacher and the flexibility that is required. This is something
that has definitely stuck with me, and will continue to do so as I begin to teach.
Much of what we did for this course outside of the readings also functioned well to
exemplify what it is that we will be trying to teach in ENC 2135. Responding to readings through
the QQC was a kind of assignment I havent done before, but is one I definitely plan to use in my
own class. Not only did it give me the opportunity to cement my own readings by reflecting
through questions, it also opened up the class as a participative audience for actual discourse and
communication. There were many instances where I felt like I learned as much through these
exchanges with my peers as through the readings themselves. This element of collaborative
reading helped with the denser readings and facilitated digressions that were almost always
informative as well.
Similarly, modeling the class as student-lead discussions really allowed an interchange of
ideas. By empowering us all to speak and respond to one another as opposed to directing our
comments at some teacher standing up front, I felt like I actually listened to my peers instead of
merely waiting for my turn to speak (this strategy is definitely something I plan to employ in my
own classroom). That said, I do wish I spoke up more on some days. Sometimes, I felt like my
comments were more interjections than an actual part of that dialogue (I can easily spend too
much time trying to articulate, in my head, an ideaby the time Ive gotten what I want to say
formulated, the conversation has often moved on).
Nevertheless, the structure of the course incorporated many teaching practices that not
only taught me, but are also now strategies that I will feel comfortable using in my own
classroom.