The first piece I read was on conferences by John Belk, which I think does a good job of pointing out some obvious things to keep in mind. Most importantly, that every conference is going to be different depending on the student. How is this not just plain common sense? Every student is going to be different, and some students are going to be shy and quiet and un-engaged because that student is going to want to be explicitly guided by his/her instructor.

Other students are going to have strong opinions and ideas, in which case, I believe, the better approach is to be passive and to use a socratic method of asking questions and playing devil’s advocate to get the student thinking about the project at hand. And of course, some students are going to benefit from a mix of these methods.

I also like the idea of conferencing 6 students at a time. I co- taught a hybrid class once of 40 students, and this is how the professor (my mentor) and I would handle conference. We ran the groups like peer reviews (where we sat in as a peer). Everyone passed his/her papers to the left and read the essay for about 10 minutes, and then everyone would take a turn discussing something about the essay (thesis, organization, etc). It was run more like a workshop, and I think this helps students for all the reasons Belk pointed out.

I enjoyed Dr. Moxely’s article on “datagogical” writing spaces (pedagogical space). I believe our writing space here has helped in my pedagogy as I have had the opportunity to read what some of my colleagues are doing, and in a lot of cases tweak (or in some cases completely change) my plan for a class.

I believe that language for students at this point is only the words they speak (and I think this goes back to the article we read discussing how students try to imitate a discourse community they are not a part of). Students, I think, only understand their world in this language, so when Sommers says, “the predominant concern in these definition is vocabulary. The student understands the revision process as a rewording activity” (198), it is because this is the way the students knows the world; this is why students, when they “revise,” only change certain words.

This is what Sommers points out, and now I realize why my students, all these years, only change the obvious mistakes I point out on their papers, and then change a couple of words, and rarely do they ever make any real global changes.

To counter this problem, I now ask students to highlight the changes they make and then to write a reflective essay on why they made the changes. In this way I hope to get students to think about the choices they are making about their writing, and to hopefully see revision is a “holistic” process, and I, hopefully, get the students to ask those question on page 204 that I am too tired to write out here. I feel giving the students guidelines will help them realize that revision is not only fixing a comma mistake or some other small problem.