I admire my students’ courage

OK, so I do this really tricky thing. At least, some of my students have called it tricky. After writers do their first timed writing practice or freewriting, I say, “Now we’ll all read aloud what we wrote.” There’s sound pedagogical rationale for this practice. In Peter Elbow and Pat Belanoff’s classic booklet Sharing and Responding, the first kind of response they describe is “Sharing: No Response.” No matter what class it is, after I say we’ll read our writing aloud, I can hear the collective sucking in of breath: “Oh, no. Anything but that!”

But they read. Those who have phobias about public speaking, those who are not sure they want to be that honest, those who worry their language is wrong or will be misunderstood. They read. They stand behind their words. That takes guts. And I admire them.


3 Responses to I admire my students’ courage

  1. editwrite says:


    Just starting my first blog. (Gotta stop procrastinating in a minute and get back to work!) Anyway, liked your last two postings; heard a way to show up in a search engine (get readers) is increase links to my site… would you add me to your blogroll? Plugged you into mine a minute ago.


  2. Cokilius says:

    That was pretty tricky, but it helped us to learn more about our writing skills. đŸ™‚

  3. quadcrazy says:

    Yes! That was a really tricky thing. I did not like the trick when I had to read my paper. Although now looking back on the whole situation and knowing how much I love to hear other peoples papers, I would say, What a great “trick”. There is a lot of wisdom in some tricks.

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