Tutor profile: Helen R.
How do you teach writing?
Writing is a process and all writing is personal. Jim Burke in "The English Teacher's Companion" contends that writing is "an extension of ourselves, a record of the process by which we create ourselves, discover our ideas; it is a performance of ourselves" (65). To teach students how to address and revise their writing, they have to be reflective on their purpose. As they may look at a text and discern meaning using textual supports, they have to be able to transfer those skills to look at their own work. What am I saying? What does it mean? Why does it matter? In some cases we may even want to ask, does it answer the question being asked? With these practices, students will be consistently developing as writers and learning to question texts, their writing, and their own actions.
How does an author use language to create meaning and theme?
Depending on the effect the author wants to create, authors use language such as figurative language, metaphor, imagery, etc., to create meaning and theme. Words are a type of stimuli that if used purposefully can evoke sounds, motions, tones, images, feelings, and literal meanings. However, meaning is not absolute; meaning is constructed. Authors convey meanings that are both intentional and non-intentional. Readers can only infer the author's meaning by support from the text.
How do educators create an effective learning environment that promotes student engagement and produces independent learners?
Educators create effective learning environments by fostering a culture of care where students feel seen and heard. Adopting a culturally responsive teaching practice moves to learn from textbook-centered to student-centered, applying their studies to their lives. When students feel a sense of belonging in the classroom and see themselves in their work, they grow an attachment to their education and feel empowered to learn. Through owning their education, students act upon their inquiry and retain information in long-term memory. Students learn to access prior knowledge and transfer that knowledge to multiple disciplines and paths of life not to solely pass a standardized test.
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