Writing is a major component of our tutorial classes, and I can be a bit of the academic writing nazi, driving them as they work to improve their essay writing skills. My students work incredibly hard and have a lot to show for their labors, but I do know that in all that work, they long for greater writing freedom and creativity.
We are currently right in the midst of a wonderful story writing project, and there is no doubt that all of my students’ previous hard work is paying off now. Their enthusiastic and fearless approach to writing is quite a sight to behold! It is music in a teacher’s ears to be repeatedly asked if a student can turn in an assignment early, or if they can have a little more time to edit and revise (not because they haven’t already completed the expected work, but because more class discussion leads to more refinement.)
I love giving students permission to re-write, and revise their blood, sweat and writing tears. Mind you, I am not assigning more editing and writing and hearing moans, groans and seeing the eyes roll. They ask to edit. They want to write one more page or one more chapter and totally revamp a character. Peer review is marked by meaningful comments and thoughtful reception of these comments. They want to hear my critiques and criticisms, and they follow them.
This my friends, is the unique joy in teaching.