Thanksgiving week means that the semester is suddenly, inexplicably, unbelievably almost over!


This seemed like a good time to visit my goal for this semester: to not get sucked into everyone else’s stress, and to try to lighten their load just a bit since my own is so manageable.

Overall I’ve done an OK job of filling my own reservoir. But actually, the sleep and exercise part of this has been going sort of down-hill lately, so this is a timely reminder to get back on that.

My teachers and I were all referring people to the writing center pretty actively in October, but this month it has fallen out of my communication. So I followed that element of my plan a bit too literally – I needed to start early and keep it up throughout the semester. There’s still time!

I think I’m doing pretty well with listening, checking in after absences, and encouraging people overall. I can think of several interactions where I specifically noted the student’s progress, and often found myself saying that the essay I’d critiqued was quite good despite the dozen edits/suggestions I’d made.

That said, I’m thinking of a couple other interactions from the last month where I had to deliver some tough-love constructive criticism. I made an effort to be both kind and clear, but I erred on the side of clear. I know my intentions were in the right place and that the content of my advice was sound and warranted, but how could my delivery improve?

I think that in these final weeks of the semester, my role needs to shift just a bit. Assignments are piling up, time is running out, and even though excellent writing is a long-term pursuit, we’re really in short-term mode right now. My advice should be concise and concrete, and every interaction should include a micro pep-talk.

It’s going to be a great end-game!


Photo Credit: John Lodder on Flickr

You’re reading End-Game, originally posted at LearningToTeachEnglish.com.

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