Thursday, September 18, 2014

Reflecting Back: Media Writing Class I Taught for a Session

So things didn't quite work out the way I wanted them to this summer, as I was going to teach a full schedule at one of the school's I substitute for here in Seattle. But they were low on student's and so cut back the regular teacher hours and thus they gave those extra hours to their regular staff. However, I was given one class that met 1 hr a day (except Friday's). It was a themed writing class called "Modern Media Writing". I was given free reign to come up with what happened in class as long as I hit certain criteria and that students produced something every week.

This was a multi-cultural and multi-level class within in an IEP program so mostly young students (20 somethings). They were all really great students and I felt lucky because they engaged well with the content and also worked hard too.

The topics we covered centered around different forms of media, so I went with giving advice the first week, writing a News Story for the second week, creating restaurant reviews for the third week and interviewing classmates for a personality profile the last week. You could consider this like an English for Academic Purposes writing class focusing on media writing. During class I mostly gave introductions to the kind of writing, talked about how to write and gave examples. I chose activities that I thought would be engaging and had students work together to use their own knowledge.

Looking back I feel I should have spun in more social and critical thinking skills, but I think because I wasn't familiar with my students and really the class format that I tried to stay within a comfortable arena of work. However, there were times when some cultural or critical thinking skills were utilised and performed by the students.

Overall, I was pleased to hear from my students that they enjoyed my teaching and the class and were sad I wasn't going to be teaching there next session. It renewed my teacher spirit and put a little bit more fuel in me to finish up my degree so that I can head back to the classroom as an instructor.

For the last class we went over to Bauhaus books so they could do their interviews in a casual setting and then just kickback.

Below are my lesson plans which are pretty rough and without all the nice things like "objectives" and what-not. But they can give you a good idea of what happened and might be useful for anyone teaching a similar class in the future.

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