Teaching Tools

Strategies for More Successful Teaching

Teaching Is Complicated

Over the years, I've seen many different approaches to writing and to teaching. Naturally, I've found some approaches more helpful than others. However, every course and every model for "how to write" and "how to teach" has taught me something, and none have been the "absolutely perfect approach" for every situation. Every course I've taught — and every section of students within the same course — has required different approaches.

In Teaching Techniques, Variety Is Reality

As a teacher, I know of many, many teaching techniques — far more than I've been able to use myself. There are some techniques that work exceptionally well for me that don't work for others, and vice versa. And I've seen some very compelling arguments in favor of techniques that I myself would never consider trying. And as a student, I often do best under the "harsh" teachers who are follow pedagogies diametrically opposed to my own.

How Universal Design for Learning Fits In

As you read my website, please do not view my words as advocating one system of instruction to the exclusion of all else. I find UDL considerations exceptionally helpful for enhancing a variety of pedagogical approaches. UDL isn't some "best and only" guide to writing instruction, and I hope you won't see my work here as some disagreeable heresy compared to some "better" method. As writers and teachers, we're all in this together. When I have had bad experiences, the common thread I've found is an unwillingness to consider the views and findings of others.

For me, UDL is a great system because UDL can be applied to every other model of teaching. UDL is not a specific set of facts for students to memorize, and it's not even a specific set of regulations for each instructor to follow. It's instead a way of considering the ways that our students learn information, and from these considerations, we come up with best practices to help our students become better writers.