Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My Basic Assumptions

I have started teaching for the next 14 weeks of the semester. A few years ago I heard a speaker who challenged us (a statewide group of teachers) to examine our basic assumptions about what we teach. I took that seriously and thought about my basic assumptions about writing and the teaching of writing. I came up with these:

  1. Everyone has a need to communicate.
  2. Everyone can write, maybe not as well as they would like, but they can do it.
  3. Writing is a set of skills that can be taught.
  4. Practice makes improvement (nobody's perfect).
  5. Effort is required to improve.

These are the core beliefs I have about writing that I try to work from when I am teaching my students. I have even gone so far as to post them on the class website. In my introduction to the students today I went over these core beliefs with them. I received no major argumants or disagreements from anyone. And I have a feeling that the students I have right now would not be shy about disagreeing with me.

Anyway, I thought I would ask your views on this. What are your core beliefs, your basic assumptions about what you teach? Try to limit your time to a few minutes and go with your gut. I think it would be cool is something showed up on your list that you didn't realize was there.

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