Your Best Technique: A Triumph of Teaching

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.


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