I would like to begin this part of the Just Like Me Project with a reference to the late great Ken Macrorie (d. 2009). His radical and thoughtful book, Uptaught (1970) has as much to do with seeking and defending the intellectual freedom of students and teachers as it does acknowledging the sacred practices of actually teaching English using what Macrorie called "The Third Way" or the "Freedom to follow the direction of one's own movement and theDiscipline of considering the response of others to it" (p. 167). The Third Way insists on students and professors/teachers sharing "their expert knowledge and their experience" to teach and to learn. The Third Way elicits writing that wastes few if any words. The Third Way, even now 40 years later, is also a dangerous teaching orientation. It is defiant and direct, and humorous and fully engaging. It is also critical of types of teaching which ignore the interests and choices of students. For instance, Macrorie plainly said, "As they [faculty] lecture to hundreds of students in an auditorium or administer a massive multiple-choice test to thousands in the fieldhouse, many professors do not realize that they are treating college students as children are treated in the most punitive elementary schools. At a higher level, with more sophistication, they carry out little acts every day which reveal them as no less tyrants" than the memos sent home to parents about how to be good chaperones (p. 169). (Isn't every day of parenting, in all its difficult rewards and strenuous struggles, a lesson in being a good chaperone?)
Teacher, writer, activist, coffee enthusiast, hopeful. Pass it on.