So, as I briefly mentioned in a previous post, this is the first semester of my teaching career in which I have not taught composition (by which I mean a class focused on argument that includes the research paper). It's a fluke of scheduling and loading and will, likely, never happen again.
But I have noticed something. Everything about teaching feels so much lighter. Which leads me to a question: Does teaching comp have to feel so heavy? Does it have to feel like such a slog for me and the students?
Granted, we are dealing with some pretty heavy-duty skillz, and since I'm at a CC, many students aren't prepared. But, still. Does it have to be so, well, hard? And it's not just a matter of grading quantity. My Intro to Lit students write a lot, and the sections have higher enrollment. But the grading experience in Intro to Lit is definitely different--it does make my brain hurt so much, and it's not nearly as depressing.
I know some people who teach comp and argument through literature. Typically, I have rejected that approach since I think teaching students to argue various issue-related topics better prepares them for what they'll need throughout their lives as academics, professionals, and citizens.
But maybe I'm wrong about that. Maybe teaching a lit-based comp/argument class would teach them the skills just as well. And would it be less weighty for teacher and students alike?
I love the feeling of this semester, and I'd be so happy to find a way to carry it through, back to Compland. Please weigh in* on this issue. Tell me how to be free.
*Do you like my mixed and unstable metaphors?