My experience learning to write has had much more in common with my experiences learning to play a musical instrument or to cook than it has had with my experiences learning history or chemistry. Growing as a writer has meant growing in skill through practice more than it has meant growing in knowledge through study.

Because of that, my teaching prioritizes practical experiences with writing skills and rhetorical concepts, pushing students to practice and then to reflect in order to become more deliberate writers. Also, because I don't know how many other writing classes my students might take, I strive to plan activities and assignments that are not only educational but worthwhile in themselves. Nowhere does it say learning requires seriousness or misery.

“[E]ducate them in the how and why of thought and judgment rather than the mere what.” 

—Wayne Booth, The Vocation of a Teacher