M.Leddy + teaching   140

“The deepest motive for writing”
Richard Lanham: “Motive has always been the question of questions for Freshman Composition. Perhaps more success might flow from assuming, paradoxically, that the deepest motive for writing is not communication at all but the pleasures of writing for its own sake.”
teaching  writing 
yesterday by M.Leddy
Writing and speech
Richard Lanham: “Writing’s advantage, as a presentation of self, is not that it allows us to adopt the mannerisms of speech but that it allows us to adopt the tempo of speech without its hesitant waste.”
teaching  writing 
yesterday by M.Leddy
“Slow Reading”
Richard Lanham: “Every course in composition ought to be a course in Slow Reading.”
reading  teaching  writing 
yesterday by M.Leddy
“Not gonna do it”
Julie Schumacher: “At Minnesota we’re supposed to be using Moodle or Canvas or something with our students, and I announce on Day 1: ‘Not gonna do it. If you guys want to know what the assignment is, come to class. I’m going to write it on the chalkboard right here in front of you.’”
academia  learning  teaching  technology 
21 days ago by M.Leddy
Leaving Las Vegas
“How come you haven’t been to class?”

“I was in Las Vegas.”
teaching 
6 weeks ago by M.Leddy
Group work
I still agree with what Richard Mitchell wrote in The Graves of Academe (1981): “It is only in a mind that the work of the mind can be done.” As anyone stuck with doing the work of the whole group can attest.
comics  Nancy  teaching 
june 2018 by M.Leddy
Annals of pedagogy
“The teacher who makes lessons most like games.”
fiction  teaching 
may 2018 by M.Leddy
Learning styles
A study of 426 undergraduate anatomy students finds no correlation between preferred “learning style” and learning.
education  learning  teaching 
april 2018 by M.Leddy
Naomi, teacher
A short film from the BBC, “What Babies Can Teach Us.”
childhood  teaching 
february 2018 by M.Leddy
Grammar in the writing center
To dismiss or defer a student’s questions about grammar is to do that student a disservice.
college  grammar  teaching  writing 
february 2018 by M.Leddy
Teaching Infinite Jest
“But do you want to put in the time to read Infinite Jest ?” I asked him. “That’s my decision!” he shouted.
DavidFosterWallace  dreams  teaching 
january 2018 by M.Leddy
Writing instruction
What does it mean to go through twelve or more years of schooling and not be able to recognize a sentence in your language — or a noun, or a verb? More than a little crazy.
teaching  writing 
august 2017 by M.Leddy
“Screwballs!”
“Teachers, writers — screwballs!”
film  teaching 
may 2017 by M.Leddy
Still teaching
“Does anyone have a whiteboard?”
dreams  teaching 
march 2017 by M.Leddy
In the mailroom
A teaching-related dream.
dreams  teaching 
march 2017 by M.Leddy
Up late again
One more “paper” to grade: a handwritten transcript of Saint-John Perse’s poem Anabase (1924).
dreams  teaching 
march 2017 by M.Leddy
Up late grading
One student had submitted a legal pad, with the cardboard backing still attached.
dreams  teaching 
march 2017 by M.Leddy
Doing without teachers
William Deresiewicz: “Between the long-term trend toward the use of adjuncts and other part-time faculty and the recent rush to online instruction, we seem to be deciding that we can do without teachers in college altogether, at least in any meaningful sense. But the kind of learning the college is for is simply not possible without them.”
academia  teaching 
february 2017 by M.Leddy
English studies and adjunct labor
Kevin Birmingham writes about English studies and adjunct labor.
academia  labor  teaching 
february 2017 by M.Leddy
W(h)ither grammar
How many problems in reading stem from an ignorance of basic grammar? And how many problems in writing stem from an ignorance of basic grammar?
grammar  reading  teaching  writing 
january 2017 by M.Leddy
A new rubric
“Because I can no longer claim with any credibility that reading, writing, and critical thinking are essential skills for 21st-century success, I have revised the grading rubric for your papers accordingly.”
politics  teaching 
december 2016 by M.Leddy
Night class
The sixth classroom dream I’ve had since retiring from teaching.
dreams  teaching 
november 2016 by M.Leddy
From an old notebook
“And he got inside and he got out. And he goes back. And the people are there now. And all the balloons come all around and all the colors.”
fambly  notebooks  poetry  teaching 
november 2016 by M.Leddy
Sarcasm and irony
Sheridan Baker confirms it: “sarcasm” is “the student’s word for irony.”
irony  teaching  usage 
october 2016 by M.Leddy
★☆☆☆☆
It’s always sobering to read Amazon’s one-star reviews of literary works. One-starrers can serve to remind teachers of lit of what they may be up against.
Amazon  reading  teaching 
october 2016 by M.Leddy
Tertan and Blackburn and Howe
A Lionel Trilling story of an instructor’s encounters with two students, one madder than the other.
fiction  teaching 
october 2016 by M.Leddy
“Are We Teaching Composition All Wrong?”
Provocative reading in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
college  teaching  writing 
october 2016 by M.Leddy
Back to school
This is the fifth school-related dream I’ve had since retiring from teaching, and the second in which I’ve been a student. And here, I admit, not a very good student.
dreams  teaching 
june 2016 by M.Leddy
A teaching story
A student’s lie. Nearly thirty years after the fact (or lack thereof), this story sticks with me.
academia  teaching 
may 2016 by M.Leddy
A teaching dream
It’s the third such dream I’ve had since retiring.
dreams  teaching 
march 2016 by M.Leddy
A teaching dream
This dream marks my second classroom appearance since retiring.
dreams  teaching 
february 2016 by M.Leddy
Teaching ancient Greek
“Sisyphus would sympathize with my condition.”
Greek  teaching 
january 2016 by M.Leddy
Bad news from the MLA
The Modern Language Association reports that the 2014–2015 job market in English and foreign languages was the worst in forty years.
academia  MLA  teaching 
december 2015 by M.Leddy
Remembrance of things past
“I'm done with that! Screw that!”
past  teaching 
november 2015 by M.Leddy
Stoner and adjunct life
An adjunct instructor, writes about John Williams’s novel Stoner .
academia  fiction  teaching 
november 2015 by M.Leddy
Quandaries 101; or, why I wouldn’t reschedule an exam because of a ballgame
I would invoke a remembered-from-a-philosophy-class version of Kant’s categorical imperative.
philosophy  teaching 
october 2015 by M.Leddy
Recently updated
Sherry Turkle’s essay, out from behind the paywall.
attention  distraction  teaching  technology 
october 2015 by M.Leddy
Decorum
A statement about decorum that I used (with variations) on syllabi over many years.
teaching 
october 2015 by M.Leddy
Teaching and texting
How is it possible to teach a class of twenty students (a seminar, no less) and not realize that many of those students are texting?
attention  distraction  teaching  technology 
october 2015 by M.Leddy
Undergrads and creative writing
Pyramid (as in scheme ) is a metaphor often applied to creative-writing programs.
teaching  writing 
september 2015 by M.Leddy
A teaching dream
This dream marks my first classroom appearance since retiring.
teaching 
september 2015 by M.Leddy
How to enter a classroom
“The only thing worse than finding a roomful of students intent on their devices and sitting in the dark is finding a roomful of students intent on their devices and sitting in the dark toward the back.”
teaching 
august 2015 by M.Leddy
New directions in teaching
What counts as “a more efficient curriculum or lesson”?
education  teaching  technology 
august 2015 by M.Leddy
Talking ties
I started wearing a tie in my last three years of teaching, for two reasons.
teaching 
august 2015 by M.Leddy
Gary Saul Morson on English studies
Morson suggests that academics kill interest in literature. I think he’s on the mark.
college  literature  teaching 
july 2015 by M.Leddy
Word of the day: emeritus
“I like the awkward overtone of penal life in ‘serve out one’s term‘.”
academia  teaching 
june 2015 by M.Leddy
Word of the day: eremite
Someone piped up: “What’s Eremite?” And the teacher explained that it was an element Keats had discovered.
JohnKeats  poetry  teaching  words 
may 2015 by M.Leddy
Ben Leddy on songs in the classroom
“This fifth-grade teacher says he has a superpower. What he reveals next will shock you.”
fambly  music  teaching 
may 2015 by M.Leddy
Mark Bauerlein on professors and students
“To my mind, the importance of Bauerlein’s essay (right now the most e-mailed item at the Times) lies in its implicit acknowledgement of the value of what I have come to call real-presence education. Face time.”
academia  college  teaching 
may 2015 by M.Leddy
Introducing Seymour
Bernstein emerges as a man of consummate wisdom and monastic simplicity, having renounced aspirations to a big career, as it’s called, for his own version of happiness. And who can argue with that?
film  music  piano  teaching 
may 2015 by M.Leddy
Old chair
Nowadays, such a chair would likely be considered inappropriate.
teaching 
april 2015 by M.Leddy
Door management
“My advice to my students: when you come to a door, open it. Go through it. Unless the door says ‘Abandon all hope, ye who enter here,’ or something like that.”
life  teaching 
april 2015 by M.Leddy
One more from Sheridan Baker
Writing is devilish. It hypnotizes us into believing we have said what we meant, when our words actually say something else: ”Every seat in the house was filled to capacity.”
teaching  writing 
april 2015 by M.Leddy
The Practical Stylist
“The voice that speaks in The Practical Stylist is not that of a textbook: it’s that of an older writer addressing a younger writer, without condescension, offering insight and advice from long experience.”
teaching  writing 
april 2015 by M.Leddy
Bad advice and misinformation
“It’s easier to persuade someone that what you’re saying is true and useful if you can keep from calling them stupid.” A coda to my Steven Pinker review.
StevenPinker  grammar  teaching  usage 
december 2014 by M.Leddy
Word processing, c. 1987
“It amuses me to realize that while many an English Department still houses a ‘computer lab’ (a classroom filled with the hum of machines), the prospect of writing in a word processor has come to feel faintly quaint.”
teaching  technology  writing 
december 2014 by M.Leddy
A teacher’s response to school reformers
Ian Altman: “The acts of thinking, learning, and knowing, are not objects that can be replaced with abstractions about thinking, learning, and knowing. In that specific but crucial sense, all school test data are fake.”
education  teaching 
november 2014 by M.Leddy
A teacher resigns
“My profession is being demeaned by a pervasive atmosphere of distrust.”
teaching 
november 2014 by M.Leddy
Clay Shirky bans devices
“Allowing laptop use in class is like allowing boombox use in class  —  it lets each person choose whether to degrade the experience of those around them.”
teaching  technology 
september 2014 by M.Leddy
School days
Syllabus week? What’s that?
college  teaching 
september 2014 by M.Leddy
Tim Parks on “reading upward”
“In the teaching world, the idea of reading upward often leads to a preoccupation with gateway books. The way to get ‘them’ interested in, say, Charles Dickens, is to start with, say, J. K. Rowling. Uh, no.”
reading  teaching 
august 2014 by M.Leddy
Bel Kaufman (1911–2014)
“Up the Down Staircase captures like no other novel the inanities of educational institutions — ‘the gobbledygook, the pedagese, and the paper miles of words,’ as Miss Barrett calls them in a letter — and the always present possibility, despite all the nonsense, of genuine teaching and learning.”
fiction  teaching 
july 2014 by M.Leddy
On “trigger warnings”
I wonder: what do students who favor trigger warnings expect to find in literature?
RalphEllison  reading  teaching 
june 2014 by M.Leddy
The end-of-paragraph transition
A strange problem. I’ve never found an authoritative source that addresses it clearly. Until now.
teaching  writing 
may 2014 by M.Leddy
Teachers and policemen
“Teachers and policemen — you don’t have much money, but on the other hand, you don’t have much fun.”
NakedCity  teaching  television 
april 2014 by M.Leddy
No points
Several years ago students began to ask me a question I’d never heard and didn’t know how to answer: “How many points is this worth?” I had, and still have, no good answer. I have no points.
teaching 
april 2014 by M.Leddy
Coffee in the classroom
The student was sitting at the back of the classroom. On the floor, a water boiler, plugged into the wall outlet. On a desk, a Chemex coffee maker. He was making coffee, and I realized that I would have to revise my syllabus.
coffee  dreams  teaching 
march 2014 by M.Leddy
“One could have Timofey televised”
Nabokov seems to have imagined — if only as a horrible pipedream — the end of the classroom and the rise of something MOOC-like.
college  Nabokov  teaching 
january 2014 by M.Leddy
Recently updated
A reader adds one more way to be a student a professor will remember (for the right reasons).
students  teaching 
january 2014 by M.Leddy
The Margaret Mary Vojtko story
More on the life and death of an adjunct professor.
academia  labor  teaching 
december 2013 by M.Leddy
A teaching thought
From an interview with novelist John Williams, speaking of William Stoner, the professor protagonist of Williams’s 1965 novel Stoner.
fiction  teaching 
august 2013 by M.Leddy
Recently updated
A teacher decides to return to the classroom.
education  teaching 
august 2013 by M.Leddy
Texas teacher’s writing
How did this teacher ever make it into the classroom? Would you be happy knowing that she was teaching your child?
education  teaching 
may 2013 by M.Leddy
Words I can live without
We can do better than a word that associates teaching with dogma, pedantry, and servitude.
teaching  words 
may 2013 by M.Leddy
Mina Shaughnessy on error
Anyone who has read, say, a comma-free student essay (comma-free for fear that using commas might mean making mistakes), will see the wisdom in Mina P. Shaughnessy’s observations about error.
teaching  writing 
may 2013 by M.Leddy
“Warnings from the Trenches”
Retired high-school teacher Kenneth Bernstein: “We entered teaching because we wanted to make a difference in the lives of the students who passed through our classrooms. Many of us are leaving sooner than we had planned because the policies already in effect and those now being implemented mean that we are increasingly restricted in how and what we teach.”
education  teaching 
march 2013 by M.Leddy
Bobbing for apples
“to read, really read, one must do much more than bob. Repeated immersions, to the limit of one’s ability to remain underwater: that’s what will let you come up with something worthwhile.”
reading  teaching 
february 2013 by M.Leddy
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