Varying Instructional Methods

Varying Instructional Methods (PILOT Reflections) I wonder if I’d do a better job varying my instructional techniques if every college classroom came equipped with a first-grader to act as an early-warning system, ready to flop over on the carpet and moan at the first sign of boredom. I love writing workshop days because there’s usually little prep to do. On the rare occasion when I prepare a formal lecture, I do…

Missing Class

Missing Class (PILOT Reflections) Preface: Did I Miss Anything, a short poem by Tom Wayans. Amusing: A FAQ page that I put up is the top Google hit for “missed class“. Students sometimes miss class for extended periods due to illness. I once had a student who was a group leader in a technical writing class. She passed out assignments to her team members, then didn’t show up for six weeks.…

Mobility as a Learning Needs Issue

Mobility as a Learning Needs Issue (PILOT Reflections) My father has a neck injury that acts up whenever he is immobile for a long period of time. Concentrating or racing the clock aggravates his injury. Getting to sleep can also be a problem.He has experimented with different seating postures, but what seemed to work best was if he happened to drop off to sleep in the middle of the day in…

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Accessing a Map of the United States for a Visually Impaired Student (no answers — just musings)

Accessing a Map of the United States for a Visually Impaired Student (no answers — just musings) (PILOT Reflections) If I wanted to use a map of the United States in a class that includes a visually disabled student, what would I do? For a low-tech solution, I’m sure there are Braille maps, or 3-D maps that show terrain and so forth. In “Cathedrals,” a much-anthologized short story, a rather cynical…

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Including the Student with Moderate Hearing Impariment

Including the Student with Moderate Hearing Impariment (PILOT Reflections) I know a smidgen of sign language. I once rode a bus from Virginia to Texas, and happened to sit next to a hearing-impaired young woman. (Hmm… I was young at the time, too.) I learned to sign the alphabet when I was in third grade, and she could read lips, so we had a good starting point. I learned the basic…

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Universal Design in Education

Universal Design in Education (PILOT Reflections) At the local Shop ‘n Save grocery store, after you swipe your credit card through the slot, the green LED’s light up with the message, “$9.95. Is this OK?” But there’s no “OK” button on the credit card machine. There is, however, a well-worn arrow, scrawled in black ink from a felt-tipped pen, next to the “Yes” button. The word “yes” does make sense as…

Revising Seminar in Thinking and Writing (with an eye on inclusion)

Revising Seminar in Thinking and Writing (with an eye on inclusion) (PILOT Reflections) In my first year teaching at SHU, I found the wide range of students I encountered to be eye-opening. My Seminar for Thinking and Writing class included top-notch students who showed up already knowing how to do college-level research, and it also included students whose fear of public speaking or whose dyslexia caused significant challenges. Since Seminar in…