Friday 18 April 2008

Teaching and Learning

I really enjoy my job, working with Creative Writing students. Their work is good and they are always keen to hear suggestions which will make it even better. I find I learn, too, by looking at what is working in their work. Or what is not working and then seeing it again in my own, where I’d not been able to see it before.

I guess we all need to share our work with others at times.

I see two stages of sharing though: work in progress and then finished unseen work. I find it good to have both sorts of readers. As soon as a reader has seen work in progress, they can’t be totally objective about it. They can still be helpful. Afterwards, though, you do need fresh eyes.

We’re now talking at the university about doing more close reading. I think perhaps we do need to teach our students to read as writers. Does this take all the pleasure out of it? Or does having this extra critical stance add to the pleasure? I’m actually still tending to judge a book as being very good if it so absorbs me that much that I forget the critical stance. Mmm.

But yes, it’s interesting when I learn as much, from my students as they do from me – if not more.


Awang Goneng said...

Hi Gill,

Your closing remark reminds me of a book critic who once said that he enjoyed reading a book so much during his holidays because he wasn't reading to review it.

Gill James said...

Good to get your comment, Wan, and the email you sent. Never give up on your writing. I've frequnetly found that when I've been findign it the msot difficult I've actually produced the bets writing. Talking of which .... I'm just about to return to a project I've been finding very difficult.

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