Sunday, May 26, 2024

Photohaiku and College Composition

When I think about my ideal teaching job, in some ways, my ideal teaching job time is in this liminal space.  We are between semesters at Spartanburg Methodist College.  I have plenty of time to think about what I want to accomplish in a class, to reflect on what's been going well and how to make improvements.  I'm finding readings, not by active searching, but by what's coming across various inboxes and sites.  I'm seeing other people's posts and comments on social media sites and thinking, I'd like to try that.

And what makes my SMC teaching job ideal is that I have the opportunity to try different approaches.  The department has a list of what must happen in a Composition class, but it's fairly short, and we have wide latitude to meet those goals in ways that work for us. 

I like adding more creative writing to my classes, even though they aren't traditional creative writing classes.  I think it helps prevent boredom, and best case scenario, it gives students a richer way of expressing what they're trying to capture.

Yesterday Dave Bonta posted his latest photohaiku latest photohaiku, and one of his Facebook friends said it would be great to try for students in an Adventure Lit class.  My first thought was, I want to teach Adventure Lit.  And then I thought, this could be great to try with a Composition class.  

I'm going to have my students adopt one tree on campus for the whole term.  It's not the only thing we'll do, but we're going to do some close observations of the tree.  Creating a photohaiku could be a great way to see in a slightly different way from a typical observation log (we'll do that too), a slightly more complex way than just taking a periodic photo.  I also love this one this one of Dave's, but the cool thing is that students will have a whole site to explore; and I'm seeing a short assignment that has them pick their favorite and explain why it's their favorite.

I'm really looking forward to seeing how all these ideas work, even though I know that some of them will work better than others--my ideal teaching time!

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