Robert Stephens

IntroductionDawson D

One of the things that is most amazing, but also most challenging, about teaching in a large, diverse college such as Dawson, is the huge range of students one teaches, in terms of interest, aptitude, background, and outlook. Especially as a Humanities/Gen Ed teacher, I find that I have to design courses that somehow fulfill a fairly specific set of discipline-specific competencies, while still making contact and hopefully a meaningful connection with students from across the college: everything from First Choice Science, to Nursing; from Graphic Arts to Liberal Arts; from Computer Science to Theatre. When I first began teaching, I noticed that I was spending a lot of time simply teaching students certain conventions of writing that I thought they needed to employ in order to fulfill the assignments that I had planned. I spent a lot of time, as I am sure many teachers do, grumbling about what other teachers “hadn’t taught” my students how to do, in terms of reading difficult texts, unpacking and understanding arguments, thinking critically, and writing formal essays. This has changed since my time as a WID fellow…

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