• Post-Pandemic Grading: Let’s Not Return to “Normal”

      We have reached the arc in the pandemic when we are testing the waters of returning to “normal.” At the same time, we are holding conversations about why “normal” is the wrong destinati...
    April Lidinsky
    last modified by April Lidinsky
  • Classroom Connections: Coronavirus Edition

    Many instructors who began the semester in face-to-face classes have spent the last weeks breathlessly surfing all seven waves of grief. It started with shock, if not denial, as we helped our students adjust to the re...
    April Lidinsky
    last modified by April Lidinsky
  • Visual Literacy for a Pandemic: Beyond Flattening the Curve

    Striving for community in this strange and estranging moment, I am here to champion the work we do—even in non-global-pandemic times—to teach our students the value of critical visual literacy. Now, these ...
    April Lidinsky
    last modified by April Lidinsky
  • In Search of Meaningful Exchanges in the Classroom

    Students are experts at seeing through assignments that waste their time. And thank goodness. We are at our best when we live up to students’ expectations for meaningful engagement on topics that matter.   ...
    April Lidinsky
    last modified by April Lidinsky
  • Slow Looking and Close Reading: Experiments in Learning from a Tree

    I’m roaring into my 2020 teaching with the old-school pedagogy of journal-writing, buoyed by the positive feedback from students, and, frankly, the pleasure I’m taking in practicing alongside them.   ...
    April Lidinsky
    last modified by April Lidinsky
  • Talking Science with Non-Scientists in the Anthropocene

    I have been talking with my students about how we talk about science, particularly as non-scientists. After all, whether or not they understood the fine details of climate science, energized students from our campus a...
    April Lidinsky
    last modified by April Lidinsky
  • Reading — Slow and Fast — in the Writing Classroom

    I’ve been teaching writing for 28 years, and I still wrestle with how much reading to assign in a writing class. Hopefully, I'm not alone. There’s an alchemy between “less is more” if we want s...
    April Lidinsky
    last modified by April Lidinsky
  • Listening for Pluralism in Political Dialogue

      As we head into summer, we should invite our students to practice all the skills they’ve honed in our writing classrooms as they listen to the political dialogues unfolding this season. Let’s hope ...
    April Lidinsky
    last modified by April Lidinsky
  • “Anyone? Anyone?”: Tips for Better Classroom Conversation

    “Now: What questions do you have?” I heard a colleague ask this of her students, midway through a class I was visiting, and I was struck by the helpfulness of the phrase. Rather than asking, “Any que...
    April Lidinsky
    last modified by April Lidinsky
  • Beyond the Parlor: How do Students Find their Voices in Academic Conversation?

    I have a tender spot for students who struggle to find their tone as they enter an academic conversation. I remember writing my first (terrible) essay in college with no idea how to assert my heartfelt (and weak) clai...
    April Lidinsky
    last modified by April Lidinsky
  • Midwinter Mojo: Intentionality in the Classroom

      This is the scene outside my campus office right now. The phrase “bleak midwinter” comes to mind while I dwell on the absurdity of typing “Spring 2019” on my syllabi. No matter the weat...
    April Lidinsky
    last modified by April Lidinsky
  • From Margin to Center: The Politics of Readers and Syllabi

    While many of us are hurtling toward the end of the semester, we are also pressed to decide next semester’s book orders and ancillary readings. So, I want to celebrate how many of you are blogging about ass...
    April Lidinsky
    last modified by April Lidinsky
  • Middle Ground: Reflections on Conversations and Empathy

    I have been teaching my students to think about academic writing and argument as a conversation, a metaphor which incorporates many of the characteristics I associate with civil discourse: empathy, listening, compassi...
    Stuart Greene
    last modified by Stuart Greene
  • Journaling toward Growth Mindsets during Midterms

        “Midterm anxiety” conjures up a medley of worries. I’m not talking about midterm elections (another topic, another blog), but midterm grades. For first-semester writers, in particular,...
    April Lidinsky
    last modified by April Lidinsky
  • Critical Questioning for Civic Writing

        I continue to think about the ways I can use my rhetoric and writing class as a space where my students can develop the skills they need to be civically engaged and connect what they think and write to ...
    Stuart Greene
    last modified by Stuart Greene
  • Webs of Fear, Webs of Fascination

    A week ago, I would have cringed, ducked (and maybe even shrieked) at the image on the left, captured recently by a skillful neighbor.   This fall, though, I’m a brand-new student in an evening Master Nat...
    April Lidinsky
    last modified by April Lidinsky
  • Citizenship and the Value of Stillness

    While canvassing my neighborhoods as a candidate for the local school board, I ended up discussing with a parent the difference between reading on a screen and reading a book. It’s reasonable to think about the ...
    Stuart Greene
    last modified by Stuart Greene
  • On the Pleasures of School Supplies (and Self-Reflection)

    If you’re reading this, I’ll bet you get a kick out of new school supplies. Those of us who teach tend to enjoy the tools of the trade. Sharing our enthusiasm for those tools – even throw-back ones l...
    April Lidinsky
    last modified by April Lidinsky
  • Summer Reading, Assigned by Your Students

    The end of the semester often brings to mind Crystal Eastman’s 1920 essay, “Now We Can Begin.” Like any Commencement speaker worth her salt, Eastman, a feminist and pacifist, chose the momentous occa...
    April Lidinsky
    last modified by April Lidinsky
  • “Systems of Privilege” as a Lens for Black Panther, Parkland, #MeToo, or…

    The news of the death of Allan G. Johnson, path-breaking sociologist, was a punch to my gut. Most writing instructors have go-to authors whose foundational ideas become the central analytical lens of a course. For exa...
    April Lidinsky
    last modified by April Lidinsky