Writing Comments on Students’ Papers

This reading was by far the most interesting and useful to me. Not only did I relate from a student standpoint but also as a teacher. Reading this reminded me of how I use to think of my writing in middle and high school. I vividly remember being so anxious waiting for the teacher to return my piece with corrections. My insecurity with my writing developed at this stage in my life and evolved into me wiring what I thought my teacher wanted to hear and not what I wanted to actually write. Even now I have more of a “cookie cutter” writing style and still struggle writing pieces that do not have many boundaries. I also often remember not really understanding the comments that were left on my essays. They always seemed so negative to me that I would not ask for clarification. I would go home and try my best to switch a couple words around and then submit my final draft. I could have learned so much more if I actually experienced a proper revision process.

From a teaching standpoint I see a lot that I can improve on with my own students. I completely agree with the claim that sometimes comments can be cryptic and/or vague. Bean`s also makes a point of mentioning how comments can be worded differently to sound more inviting and how mentioning the positive is useful. He also mentions something that really stuck with me. In the text he says, “Revising doesn’t mean just editing; it means “re-visioning”-rethinking, re-conceptualizing, “seeing again” (Beans 321). This is a significant way to explain and revise to students. It is them taking in the information they are trying to convey and making sure this is the best way to convey those thoughts. This made me think about how conferencing with my students would be beneficial. This way I can really see what they are thinking and they can feel like I am coming from a helpful space instead of one derived from criticism. He also mentions the difference between stylistic problems and grammar errors. That is something I have not thought about. A lot of students need assistance with stylistic issues and not necessarily grammar problems.

Overall, I found this reading helpful and an easy yet interesting read. I like readings where I can walk away and feel like I can use what I have read in my everyday life and this was definitely one of them.