Kiss: Keep it Simple, Stupid

Project Give Thanks day 4

There is a research project starter on the library webpage of my university titled “Kiss”—short for “Keep it simple, students.” (a somewhat softer version of the expression most of us are familiar with). As a teacher always struggling to find innovative ways to present material to students, I tend to forget this mantra, and ironically, some of my best classroom activities are the ones I formulate in the elevator on the way to class, while the lessons I spend hours painstakingly planning will explode like a science experiment gone horribly wrong. Still, as I’m always fond of saying, the classroom is a laboratory; don’t be surprised if things will occasionally blow up in your face.

This morning, I found myself struggling to craft a thought-provoking prompt for the weekly blog I assign in my Writing through Media course. By mere coincidence, when I logged into my e-mail, I saw a message from the teacher resource group I’m a member of on Facebook. One of the group members shared this article about the ways that Twitter can actually improve writing. Since I had this very conversation with my students a few weeks ago, and since the course focuses on how new media technology informs and enriches writing, I clutched at it like a sinking man to a life-raft, and it is the subject of this week’s blog prompt.

As the name of our group rightly says, Smart teachers share, and today, I am thankful that they do!

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3 Comments »

  1. Ermilia said

    😀 As a student, I know I like simple when I’m learning, but then I like to be challenged a little in exercises. If it’s too easy, I get it and move on without studying and working at it, then often forget not long after. It’s a hard balance. At least you are aware when your lessons flop.

    -Elia

  2. Allison said

    “Ironically, some of my best classroom activities are the ones I formulate in the elevator on the way to class, while the lessons I spend hours painstakingly planning will explode like a science experiment gone horribly wrong.”
    I thought this only happened to me and that I was the most backwards prof ever! Why do you suppose that happens, Fran? Do you think we’re over-planning?

    • poetprodigy7 said

      I really don’t know. It seems like the luck of the draw sometimes, and I’m finding that, at least this semester, a lot of it has to do with being aware of what does and doesn’t work with the class dynamic.

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