Writers Workshop: Teacher Resources
As an instructor, there are several things you can do to allow the Writers Workshop to help your students most effectively:
- Build multiple drafts into your writing assignment. This will allow students to come to the Workshop early and return to see us several times before the paper is due.
- Distribute an assignment sheet and encourage students to bring it with them to the Workshop. Consultants can most productively help students when they know your expectations for the assignment.
- Tell your students about the Workshop and its resources. You can use information from our website in class.
- Do not make coming to the Workshop a class requirement or an opportunity for extra credit. Our long-standing policy, motivated by philosophical, pedagogical, and practical concerns, is that we cannot accommodate required use of the Workshop. The Workshop is intended to be an independent instructional resource for student writers.
- On the pedagogical side, experience suggests that our resources are best employed when students come of their own volition (though often with encouragement). If the visits were required, then some students at least would come essentially to get a ticket punched. We also would note that even with this degree of independence it is sometimes challenging to convey to students that we cannot speak for the instructors of a course in terms of assessing the quality of their work.
- On the practical side, we should note that the resources of the Workshop are significant but limited. If just a few courses required students to visit the Workshop they could easily use or exceed all of our appointments.
- Because of this policy, we will not sign off for students that they have had a consulting session or monitor, for instructors, those students who have used our services. When instructors do convey to students that they must attend the Workshop for a class (either for a grade or even extra credit), then it creates lots of headaches and tension for the students (who want to document that they have been to the workshop), the tutors and staff at the Workshop (who have to refuse to document), and the instructors (who have to respond to the students' confusion and frustration).
Also remember that faculty are always welcome to come to the Workshop, too!