Year Awarded: 2006
College of Arts and Humanities
Over the years, some things about my teaching have not changed. I always work hard to make that introduction to college relevant and rigorous. I badger and affirm students confident enough to question and volunteer, and use collaborative learning when a group’s strength cushions the personal risk that accompanies learning new ideas and skills. I give regular quizzes to keep them honest, and open book tests because life is open book. But I warn them that my tests are just like life; there is rarely time to look up all the answers. I have been accused, with good reason, of teaching “guerilla comp,” denying my students the last refuge of high school—the right answer—and insisting that they think and write a well-defended one. In my classroom students are pushed to think further than their first response and affirmed for rethinking and revising. When they write, I teach them to be clear, concise, and compelling.
My questions continue because my students are not empty vessels, waiting to be filled. Their slate is not blank. I work to connect what they already know to what they need to know. At the heart of that process is inquiry. Every class period I coax, cajole, coach, an