Sommers: The biggest surprise in teaching writing is how fun it is.
Reynolds: After 20 years, I still love it. It's changing, it's exciting.
Powell: How hard it is, and then how much I miss it when I'm assigned to teach other things.
Huot: Has been how fun it is.
Glenn: That I haven't gotten tired of it.
Lunsford: If you are a writing teacher, you have to start over completely about every five years because literacy changes so dramatically, that just when you think you know, you don't know.
Matsuda: It's much more complex than it seems at first.
Palmquist: The biggest surprise I've encountered about teaching writing has been this notion that writing is a gift. I've been a college cross-country and track coach for many years, and it never occurred to me that one of my athletes would go out into a competition thinking, "I don't really have what it takes to be successful at this." But when I walked into the writing classroom, so many of my students said, "You know, I'm really not a good wrier, I really don't have the gift for writing." And it just floored me.
Schilb: The assumptions about writing and about themselves as writers that students bring into the classroom.
Adler-Kassner: How incredible what my students know is, and what they bring to a class. And how much fun they can have and we can have fun together when we work with things that are engaging for all of us.
Sanchez: Reading student writing is interesting in ways that I wouldn't have anticipated.
Bizzell: I think the biggest surprise that I have encountered about teaching writing is that I still love it. I never get in these conversations complaining about student writing or complaining about all the papers you have to grade. This sounds crazy, I'm really not putting this on, but I give a writing assignment, and then I'm looking forward to seeing what the kids are going to do with it.