The week ran away with me and I missed doing a post here for Week 12 (and I missed out probably on lots of convos here too), but in the spirit of #TotalCoLearner, I wanted to share this great article that I saw via Twitter:
Here's the concluding paragraph, and the whole post is worth reading -- plus it has links to follow up on:
Writing alongside your students will fundamentally alter your relationship with what you teach, how you teach it, and how you relate to students. And as this relationship begins to shift, so will your relationship to the writing instruction that’s going on around you. You will (re)connect with the transformative potential of literacy and the power of words to bind us together. It’s a way to come home to a profession that seems so bent on throwing up hurdles between what we do and why we do it.
My experience being a student in my class has completely confirmed this. Before, I was co-writing with my students through my use of blogs and blogging. My students blogged; I blogged -- we were blogging and learning about blogging together.
This semester, though, it's been even richer and more rewarding: I've been doing the actual writing assignments for my class and sharing those assignments in my class blog and also in a class project website (one's that right there on the list of class projects with the other students'), and I feel so much more in touch with the class that way -- more in touch with the students, more in touch with the assignments, and also more in touch with the rhythms of the semester (I sometimes find myself using the grace period to finish up the work, just as my students do).
I've actually been doing the WHOLE class as a student, not just the writing assignments, but that's an unusual situation because of how my classes are set up. They are online, and no quizzes or exams... just reading, writing, and sharing but no grading, which means I can participate in the classes 100% as a regular student. That's not so easy to do if you teach in a classroom, have quizzes and exams, grading, etc. ... but even if you are teaching in a classroom using a more-or-less traditional course design, you can definitely write side by side with your students. I highly recommend it, and so does Mr. Anderson in his blog post. Here's that link again! :-)