After seeing the above sketch in her Twitter feed a couple months back, my good friend and teacher-neighbor across the field, Seena Rich, sent me this response:
@MrZiebarth @davidtedu @WickedDecent @amyburvall @gregsedu @Braddo @rushtheiceberg @MrJBarro @DCoffeen Curious,how has ur comp class changed
— Seena Rich (@SeenaRich) September 29, 2015
While she did so gracefully, Seena was calling me out, challenging me, asking me to put my money where my mouth is.
What she wanted to know was: Ziebarth, I’ve been watching you tweet out all your little doodles about that book you read over the summer, so what?!? What are you doing about it?
Up to that point I hadn’t committed to doing anything about my reading other than tweet out the sketches of it. Probably because my head was spinning with ideas, but a book like English Composition as a Happening needs some time to settle, digest, sink in.
I’m grateful for friends and colleagues who push and challenge my thinking, my practice, who get a little antsy when I’m just tossing bread crumbs to the world. Seena’s tweet started me thinking … What have I learned? What is my big takeaway from Sirc’s book?
Respect for what my students have to say.
Respect for my students as writers.
Respect for the journey my students are on as writers.
Respect for my students as human beings.
What’s curious is that I’ve been changing my composition course every year, bit by bit, as my students teach me every year that they deserve and are worthy of my respect.
What this respect looks like in my classroom (and the changes Sirc inspired) is ongoing, and like Deemer says, there is no blueprint. Happenings happen. Teachers must inspire their own. Regardless, I hope to explore mine here in the near future. Stay tuned.