Tag Archives: sketchnotes

What Are You Doing About It?

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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:

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.

Respect for what my students have to say.

Respect for their voices.

Respect for my students as writers.

Respect for the journey my students are on as writers.

Respect for my students as human beings.

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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.

 

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From Immigrants to Artists

Justice Whitaker

Last week I attended Justice Whitaker’s (Santa Fe University of Art & Design) fantastic session at the Student Television Network convention in San Diego, California. One of his most interesting ideas is that it takes five generations to move from immigrants to artists. In his session, titled “Documentary for Social Change,” Whitaker argues that we need to respect the camera as a creation tool and respect the generations before us who sacrificed their time and energy so that we might have the tools and time to create art.  We show that respect by creating good work, right work, responsible work, by telling the stories that happen around us, stories that we are connected to, stories that incite positive change in our communities.

Thirty students from my broadcast journalism class accompanied me to this convention, but I didn’t assign them which sessions to attend. I let them choose what they wanted to learn. I was thrilled to see almost a third of my class lined up in Whitaker’s session and I walked out of there feeling like I was in “ecstatic cahoots” (a line from The Great Gatsby) with my students as we learned together and were inspired together to be responsible artists.