Today I address the crisis of needing to prepare a new syllabus for freshman composition. After so many years of teaching, I confess my excitement can wane. But I have a proven technique to restore my pluck; Parker Palmer’s famous quote, “We teach what we most need to learn,” always ricochets in my mind as I craft new lessons.
I teach what I most need to learn. Great teachers are students themselves, so I probe the subject matter to find new mysteries.
This very day, I’m intrigued by Jon Morrow’s jaw-dropping list of “317 Power Words That’ll Instantly Make You a Better Writer.” I print out his list and apply his techniques.
It’s all new and fresh again.
I’ve avoided a tailspin. I’m applying new vocabulary–feeling blissfully rich in words–and cannot wait to endorse such a list to my students.
I do love to teach writing. Sometimes I forget that I do, so I’m grateful that it’s as simple as becoming a student again.