This interview was a couple of weeks ago, but one of the commenters here asked for my answers. Â (Thanks, Dale.) Â It took me a while, but here they are.
1. Why do you want to work here?
I told them I wanted to workÂ there because I love working with students who are motivated to go to college, who are working hard, and who might be labeled as unable by other people.
2. What learning theories have informed your teaching?
I mentioned Ruby Payne’s work and Jos’ research in formal and casual register. Those have been on my mind a lot recently.
Rhetorically, I’ve been a big fan of Elbow, Park for audience, Ong, Perelman, and Flower & Hayes… I’m also much into discourse communities, and Porter, Rafoth, and Olsen are good. I’m also into genre analysis and Swales is good for that, Miller and Berkenkotter & Huckin.
3. What do you see as the strengths and weaknesses of a collaborative environment both in the classroom and among the faculty?
Strengths: The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. That is, in a good collaborative environment the work is much better than the individual’s work individually would have been.
Weaknesses: When collaboration is going on, sometimes parts of the group get a free ride and don’t pull their weight.
Those are true for both classroom and faculty.
4. Students have difficulty being in class, reading the assigned material, and doing good work. What do you do to motivate them to show up, read, and do their best?
Get to know them.
Build a trust relationship.
Let them know that I understand their constraints.
Give them some credit for showing up, doing the reading, and participating. (Not enough to make up for not doing the major work, but enough that they know the effort is valued.)
5. How do you account for the diversity of styles for reading, writing, and abstract thinking in your classroom?
Work with different things. For the descriptive paper, we do riddles and paintings. For the definition paper, we listen to music. For the process paper, we go and do what the paper says.
6. How do you stay current on theories and research?
Reading in the field. Going to conferences.