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24 — Feedback
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Teacher of the Ear 024 — Feedback

With Laura Gibbs

[Note: An automated process created this transcript. Inaccuracies abound, especially in terms of excessive end-stop punctuation. Please accept my apologies, and do reach out if anything is unclear or needs attention.]

This is Teacher of the Ear: a show presenting conversations of learning, teaching, and technology, listening for ways to empower educators and champion student agency. It’s the aural side of Hybrid Pedagogy. I’m Chris Friend from Kean University.

For this episode, I spoke with Laura Gibbs, an author who recently retired from teaching humanities and folklore classes. Laura emphasizes feedback in each of her classes, making it clear that feedback, rather than grades, drives her work and her interactions with students.

As we settled in on our call, I made some comment about the editing I do in post-production, trying to generate casual conversation. Here I thought feedback would be the topic of discussion, but Laura said this:

Gibbs:        Editing is really the theme I guess of a lot of what we're going to be talking about today, so that's very cool to think about the audio editing that you do and your your. Goals and your perspective on that.

Here’s how she explained the connection she made between talking about feedback and discussing audio editing:

Gibbs:        Audio editing is in some ways like editing, writing, but also different and video editing too. And I actually don't know very much about audio editing and video editing, and I think that's why I'm intimidated by those formats, because editing the most important part. Part of the creative process, right?

I mean, it's easy to to talk or to get off on a rant, or to aspire to something, but but you don't get to that place without the editing, and that's my take on on what's wrong with college writing is that we really don't think about editing. We're not good editors for our students, we don't help students see editing as something valuable and rewarding and important that they're doing,

I think there’s something to be said for showing students how the sausage gets made. Math classes are notorious for asking students to show their work, but classes that use writing for evaluation and assessment are notorious for only wanting the final draft, polished and ready to go, with no signs of process or work—just the finished product.

At my institution, I’m working with folks in our Learning Commons to get a soundbooth installed on campus. (Because, let’s face it, recording audio and interviews from a clothes closet is a little un-glamorous.) The plan is to create an audiovisual recording space that’s highly visible to students, generating interest in the production process and showing students what their colleagues and faculty are working on.

I think students might be more motivated to learn about that kind of editing about audio editing and video editing because they live in this multi media world and I think that would probably have fascinating and important consequences for the way they edit their writing to you know, 'cause you just need to start editing something and then realize. What is that? Editing process, why do I have to do this? Why is it important? And then you can? Turn around and look at your writing that way.

Because right now in school as a school thing, writing is something that gets judged or graded, which is totally different from editing. And when you were talking about audio editing and you talked about your goals, you wanted your guest to sound as good as they can sound. That's how I felt about my students writing. It's exactly the same, you know, so. The kind of feedback. I was giving them was a lot like the kind of feedback you get from an editor where the whole goal is to help them to do what they want to do to improve their writing. To make it as good as it can be that they really can't do on their own.

And sometimes in school you know getting help is. It's something that's looked down on, you know you. You should need to get help. You should be the expert. You should be good at. Everything should be perfect, right? Schools would be perfect, whereas writing isn't ever going to be perfect. And all writing needs to be edited or revised. So maybe you know the multimedia world we live in now. Maybe that'll give editing writing a boost because it needs a boost, and I think people realize photos, audio, video you want to edit them while writing is…it’s the same way.

Friend:        So you you mentioned in there, you use the phrase that you want to help them do what they want to do. I've had a number of students say that their goal in the class is to get an A. And so if what they want to do is get a good grade, how do you work with that? If you're avoiding giving grades?

Gibbs:        It’s funny you mention that. It's so long ago now because I have been part of this UN grading movement and haven't put grades on student. Writing for what feels like forever to me, but which is basically since my first semester of college teaching. That's when I decided I just had to stop grading. It was ruining everything.

But I remember asking students about their goals in that first semester when I was teaching and that was a terrifying revelation. Their goal was to get an A that that was it. You know, when I had in my mind. All the different things we could do with this class and all the possibilities. This was back in. The fall of 1999 and we had web space at my school and I'm thinking, oh, you know we can publish things online. We can make a book, we could even, you know, experiment with video. Who knows what we could do 'cause we had a great film studies program there and and the students weren't thinking those terms at all. They were thinking about the grade and the.

Grading writing is is terrible. You know, when you send something off to an editor, they're not going to put a grade on it. They're going to send you back comments and and you know there are different ways that editors can be more or less supportive. Some are more supportive. Than others, but they're not just going to put an A or B or C or D on it and expect you to figure out for yourself what you're supposed to do. So I personally, as a teacher of writing have no use for grades none whatsoever, and I haven't put grades on student writing for a very long time Because I can't see anything good that comes. From it and. All kinds of bad things come from it.

Friend:        So I I think I'm still left with the question though of what do we tell students? Is there a magic phrase? Or is there an approach that you've had success with when a student says my goal is to get an A.

Gibbs:        Well, and I separate that out. Their goal for the class might be to get an A and I definitely had things I could say to them about that, you know, so that means you need to do all this reading. Do all this writing participate in the class discussions? Whatever it is that your class is about in terms of class activities, you do these things. You get an A.

Now what I tried to do was to make sure in my mind that those activities, in addition to being something students, could record book and get their grade at the end that that would also help them to develop their skills as readers and writers.

Since it was a folklore class, it was so much fun and such a natural because if the stuff. We're reading are retellings of other stories. Why don't we try to retell the stories ourselves? And so it became a creative writing class too, and grades are bad enough, you know, on expository writing, but grades on creative writing, please, you know, come on, just no way that's going to happen. And in terms of what the. Students wanted to do since it was creative writing. What they wanted to do came through really clearly because it was coming from their imaginations, right?

So I was able to give students good feedback on the kinds of writing that maybe isn't something I would choose to read my spare. Time, but as I learn to do that, I realize I need to teach them how to do that too. So I've built more and more and more. Pure feedback into the classes because I figured you know one of the things that that they can take away from this class is learning how to give that reflective non judgmental feedback.

They realized they could use it at work. Like a lot of them either had to supervise other people at their jobs or they were in a position where they were being supervised and had. To do self assessments or interact with their supervisor about feedback and so I loved it when they would say, you know I'm going to share this feedback resource with other people at my work or I'm going to show this to my boss at work because that kind of inner subjective complexity that happens around reading and writing in text that happens. Real life too, right? I mean, your workplace, this incredibly complex inner subjective space. And so that made me feel really good too.

Friend:        So I'm hearing you say that feedback is a thing that transfers out of the academic environment, and grading does not. Grading only exists within academia, but feedback exists everywhere and learning how to give and work with a good, effective, clear feedback is a skill you call that a life skill. It's a skill that's going to go. With them after graduation.

Gibbs:        Everybody wanted to do a good job at that because it was something that was part of the class community that they were in. And then they also saw. Is something they could use for the other. Communities that they're part of. So that and honestly looking back on it, it seems like, oh, that's so obvious, but it honestly took me by surprise because it was not something we ever talked about in grad school. I mean, that idea of how you would work with students in that way just never came up.

So I sort of figured it out as I went along, but I found so many good. Resources to help me. And oddly enough, one of the best resources was the Harvard Business Review because it has all this great material in there about feedback in the workplace. And honestly, I found more useful. Sort of studies and and models and ideas from the management articles in Harvard Business Review that then I found anywhere else that they weren't about giving feedback on writing technical stuff, but they were about that kind of culture of feedback, and that's what I needed. I knew all the sort of technical aspects of writing. That I needed to give students help with. But how to help them with the question? Like how do I take that knowledge that I have and turn it into something that's useful and actionable for them?

Another thing Laura got from Harvard Business Review is an approach to assessment and perceptions of success that we don’t often hear about in terms of grading.

Gibbs:        Right, and it's that human potential. Thing right like that you know? Somehow in education teachers who give all A’s, that's looked upon as being a a failure right when in fact that should be our goal, right? We want everybody to succeed or we should want everybody to succeed, and that's the kind of perspective that you can find. Not always, but you can find it in the world of business, because if. These people, your employees. Well, the success of your business is going to depend on the success of your employees and so that commitment to success like we were talking about earlier with editing to the. Idea that that the reason you're looking for. Problems is not. That punish people with a bad grade. The reason you're looking for problems is so you can fix. Them so you can do better. Reach those goals whatever they are.

But there’s always a catch. From an institutional standpoint, we have final grades to contend with. That always comes back to haunt us, doesn’t it?

Gibbs:        Oh oh, it does. And you know, I I dislike the grade at the end so much that that you know that's always a compromise. And and also at the same time I don't care. But I did try to keep the students out of it so they weren't ever grading each other. So all the student feedback and student interaction, pure feedback. That was all just focused on the writing, totally separate from the grading. And it was actually kind of interesting because my grading was focused on effort, you know.

So the idea is if if you get an A in the class, it's because you did just a lot more work than a student who got a, B or C. Because I wanted to build it in so that. Students who just needed to. Pass the class. It's a Gen Ed. Class that they could, you know, aim to get a C and say finish the class 4 weeks early or something. That's fine, that's great. They have other more important things to. Do but that. Those were all just the compromises on the grading side and in in the long run. Who cares really? Honestly, who cares?

But on the writing side, I didn't want to make those same kind of compromises. And on the writing side. I think it's not so much about the A for effort or or grade inflation. It's more about people hesitation to give what they would feel is negative feedback on something and and that's why it's it's such a struggle because. Grading is what creates that feeling that feedback is negative, right? You know, grading is what tells you anything you do wrong lowers your grade. Anything you do wrong is a mistake. We're going to punish you for your mistakes and so you don't want to ever make mistakes and you want everything to be perfect.

And so helping students set aside those expectations. And learn that it's totally OK to tell someone a part of their writing is not clear. To realize that helps them, you know if you can tell something that this is not clear or this isn't consistent, or I just didn't understand what you. Meant here or this? Story is really too long or this story is really too short. You need to be able to say that to people and it needs to happen in a way that it doesn't feel negative for that. Person, so getting rid of the grades really helps, right? There is no grade punishment for that. And then, in terms of the people giving the feedback, you need to make them feel OK about that. That they really are helping the person by telling them these things that need to be fixed. I was able to do that in the class, but it's hard because you're kind of fighting against all the culture and tendencies and weight of the other classes they're taking where you're supposed to be perfect, and it's all about getting the 100. Or the A or whatever.

Speaking of perfectionism, I often hear folks in STEM fields saying they have to use standards-based assessment and grading all the time. The two trite responses I hear most often are that an engineering student needs to build a bridge correctly so people don’t die, regardless of the feedback they get, and a doctor should be certified and pass tests, rather than being asked how well they think they’re doing. The underlying implication of each of these objections is the idea that giving feedback working toward improvement won’t reach a sort of agreed-upon standard point of measurable accuracy. Here’s Laura’s take on those things.

Gibbs:        Oh, I get. This all the time at Twitter I do, you know, and people would just say stem or doctors or engineering. You know, as if somehow this is a separate world and that learning happens differently in that world. Learning does not happen differently in that world.

So two yeah, and there's two different things going on here, so the standards are for the bridge, you know. And if you. Need to have a final product that's evaluated according to a certain set of standards. By all means, go ahead and do that right and so yes, there are standards for bridge creative writing. They're not standards. Like that, so I've never really had to worry about the assessment process for the final product. Based on the set of standards. That's fine, that happens, or it doesn't happen based on the kind of final product you've got.

But the learning process, which led to that product is something that students can reflect on at great length and that they can help each other with, you know. So if all your students in a class are designing their bridges or whatever, the more they can share with each other about their process and what worked and what didn't, is extremely valuable. Some of that advice can happen in the moment where they can say, oh, I found this amazing website that really helped me or I I use this particular function on my calculator. You know, I don't know whatever it is in the world of STEM, the things you do that help you. Go smoothly, succeed, go quickly, whatever it is. If students share those resources and techniques with each other in some kind of group way, the overall class will improve, I think.

But even better is what we were talking about before students at the end of a course giving advice to the students for the next semester. You know, because that learning process. Is something the students actually understand better than we do? It's very hard for us as experts with all these skills that we've used for decades to put ourselves in the position of the learner. We can try to do that, and I think good teachers are able. To do that pretty well. But the students are actually there. They're the ones who experienced the learning process for 15 weeks. As teachers, we did not experience learning process for 15 weeks. They did. They are the experts in their own learning process, good or bad as it may be, and if they can share that knowledge with you and with the other students. That's great, and that's the kind of feedback and assessment that I think is really valuable.

So what you do with the bridge and how you assess the quality of the bridge is one thing. But the learning process that leads to the bridge that also needs attention. It doesn't need a grade right? You can put the grade on the bridge, but you still need to pay attention to the learning process. Help the students pay attention to the learning process and then share that with you and. With the other students.

Within a culture of feedback, students focus on growth and learning. They work to figure things out as they go, and they realize that they know more at the end of a process than they did at the beginning. In writing classes, that’s easy to document using portfolio assessment. I love watching students look back at their early thinking and writing, then realizing that they understand things so much better at the end of the semester that they want to rework an early paper in light of their new knowledge.

Gibbs:        Yeah, and that and that's where the revising thing is amazing, right? that's where you need to embrace this identity as a writer. Going forward, like you're writing, stays back there in the past and it may or may not be useful to you. You may or may not want to keep it. You may or in the my classes. You may or may not want to leave it online for people to read in the future. That's all up to you. But you are the writer of the future. You are going forward. It's like the difference between. Teaching writing versus teaching writers and getting students to realize they are what goes forward. You are the the the object that's being created in this class, you know. So the the written work that you're doing. That's just. Practice, you know, that's just. Kind of the like the the the. The the the leftovers from the transformation of you you know. So when you're revising your writing, that's. Good, but you know. You're just creating another piece of writing that you could have to revise some more. It never stops until your editor, your publisher, or the calendar says that's it you're done. But you, the writer, that's what's being constantly revised. And that's what actually persists, right? Like the the writing is just a thing. It doesn't have a guaranteed future. You, the writer, have a guaranteed future.

And speaking of the future, Laura often asks students to write notes to future students—to give advice on what the students in next semester’s classes should know about the class, helping to set them up for success.

Gibbs:        I love that assignment, partly because I learned so much from listening in on what they thought was important about the class like. What I thought they needed. To know so that I could maybe try to do a better job of explaining it.

But obviously a student telling it to another student. Is going to be more persuade? Massive and you could see the rhetorical urgency of it because they would be writing these at the end of the semester for the students and next semester it would be like you have to believe me. Listen to what I say you. Know what a real rhetorical sense of purpose that we, you know we tell students about. Rhetoric and about persuasion. And it's all kind. Of abstract and bland, it doesn't mean. Anything it's like? You have to believe me in all caps, you know do this. Don't do that whatever, but but it's really, I think all about help and advice.

I keep thinking that if we took those end of course evaluations and instead of making them evaluations just work. Like advice, you know, here's some advice from me. A student to you, the teacher. And and yeah, maybe some mean things would still happen because whatever school is what it is. But more useful stuff would happen, I think if it were posed as just help advice, but like evaluation and assessment and filling out those numbers on a scale that just kills all that spirit of helping.

Laura contributed a chapter to the edited collection titled Ungrading: Why Rating Students Undermines Learning. In her chapter, Laura mentions what she calls “Gradebook Declarations,” which she describes as follows:

When they complete an assignment, students record their work in the LMS using a "Declaration" quiz, which is just a quiz with a true-false question containing a checklist of the requirements for that assignment. When students click "true" as the answer, the assignment points go into the Gradebook. Each assignment is worth just a few points; there are no high-stakes assignments or tests. (I've used this system in three different LMSes over many years: first Blackboard, then D2L, and now Canvas.)

I love the simplicity of that idea, but if you’ve listened to this show for a while, you know I also love asking devil’s-advocate questions, especially when I can hear the objections others might offer to an idea I think sounds great. So without further ado…

Friend:        One question that I want to make absolutely sure that I ask you. This is a devil's. Advocate question for you. What if students lie on their declaration quiz, is it?

Gibbs:        Actually, lying is not the problem and I'm not dismissing that, but. Let me explain what is the prob. Well, the problem is, students are all in a hurry. They are just hurrying through everything and so there would sometimes be discrepancies between what they checked off and what I would see at their blogs. You know, so the the way my class has worked is that everything the students were doing and thus everything they were. The clearing was leaving some kind of digital trail either in their blogs or at their websites, and the idea with the declarations is it's a checklist for completion. You know that all the parts of an assignment are there.

But sometimes I would go to like get all the stories from the week to put in the randomizer. It's like OK, you know. So and so said she did a story, but the story is not here and I would send a note saying you know, you did the declaration. I can't find the story and she'd say Oh my God, I forgot to hit publish and and that was what would happen and that happened. Pretty much every week someone would forget to hit publish. So really, it was actually a positive thing because it was a chance for most students to complete the assignment of the checklist. Kind of as a reminder of all the. Things they needed to. Do, but for students whose lives were really hectic or really busy, they would really forget things sometimes and it was a chance for me to say, you know, you said you did X, so I was expecting to find. X But I didn't find X.

You know what happened and and so that was good. It was a a loop in the process that we needed because mistakes happen. Students weren't lying or cheating because there was always a way to make anything up, you know? you were never in trouble, you know, and I think students cheat when they feel like they're in trouble somehow. And if you create a situation where nobody feels like they're ever in trouble, and nobody ever felt in trouble in my classes, then the whole cheating thing is just not an issue.

So the declarations have the advantage of letting me hold students accountable, not because they weren't doing the work, but just because things were chaotic. In hectic and and also technical things would happen whatever, so I found it really useful as a way for them to let me know what work I should expect to see. And then it also was a great dialogue for if something wasn't there, how are we going to fix it?

You know, so it wasn't like I'm going to go in and take away your points or whatever it was. Just like, well, you know, get it fixed when you can. So when your Internet comes back. Up or when? You're not trying to do the assignment on your phone or whatever it. Was that it happened? Let's just get it fixed. 'cause the goal was not to do the declaration to get the points. The goal was to do the work. So that the class could continue.

If I'd been teaching a class that was part of the writing curriculum, or, say, first year composition, I could see that there would be an assessment element. Involved I personally as a teacher would prefer not to be the person who does that assessment you know to take that assessment piece out of the class and make it a separate process.

Since I was teaching Gen Ed, though, there was no sense really that I had to assess anyone’s writing. And another thing that I loved about teaching creative writing was that they really could assess each other's writing in terms of that creative impact, you know. So I was the only one who could really go in and do. Sort of meticulous high level editing with them and work on technical writing aspects. Some students were interested in that. Some students weren't. I definitely had the skills to do that for them and I offered that to them and it was often the first time they had ever had anyone do that kind of editorial intervention and we might should talk about that. 'cause I know composition teachers are fall on a spectrum in terms of how much line at what they do with students.

Professional writing majors in my classes sometimes who were in some ways better writers than I was, especially earlier on later on, I really felt myself to be a writer, and I'm happy about that. But earlier on, I definitely was even kind of intimidated by some of my professional writing majors 'cause they had their training that that I had not had. And so I learned. A lot from them.

What I loved about teaching online was that the the classroom? Physical hierarchy is is gone, so I would be a student in my class. This is just. Like they were, I had a blog. I did the same assignments every week. I did a project and I would just go by my first name. And so it was. So great when students would be giving me feedback on a project or my blog.

Sometimes they realized it. Me, and sometimes they didn't know it was me, and sometimes they only figured it out at the end that it was me and that was so much fun to that that that sense of here's my writing. It's being revised on the same schedule, same process like your writing is being revised, and that's something that I really love because there is that. Kind of sense of. I I I don't want to say my process in the class as a learner was the same as theirs, 'cause obviously it's not. I've been doing this for a lot longer. I'm not doing it as part of the degree program. I wasn't taking other classes. But I did like being to some extent, part of that same learning process together with them and making a project every semester and then at the end when we started publishing our stuff as press books. You know, putting some of my stuff in the press book with them. Just an author side by side with the rest of them. I was the editor too, but but I was also the an author.

At this point in the conversation, I launched into a lengthy story; here’s the Cliff’s Notes version: In 2017, Cheryl E. Ball and Drew M. Loewe published a collection of essays called Bad Ideas About Writing. The essays are authored by composition scholars arguing against common misconceptions about the craft, teaching, and profession of writing.

Several of my classes are working on a project to create a more-accessible version of the book, written by and for college students, with a more straightforward approach. It’s called, unsurprisingly, Good Ideas About Writing. Students are “translating” each chapter of the original book into something more direct and instructive, rather than argumentative, in our version. And as editor of the collection, it’s my job to write the introduction. So I “translated” the Introduction chapter that Cheryl and Drew wrote, just like students “translated” the main chapters.

And then I brought my chapter into class, shared it with students, and asked them to peer-review my work, just like they peer-review each other. I explained that they’re the target audience of the chapter I wrote, so I really wanted to know how well the chapter worked for them. Students were kind, pointing out things I did right and strategies I used that helped. Then, after a pause, one student very mildly offered a critique. She pointed out one paragraph that she thought distracted from my point and even took some steam from a student chapter by prematurely introducing an explanatory metaphor.

Nods spread through the room as other students agreed with her assessment. I quickly offered to remove the troublesome paragraph; worried cringes spread just as quickly as the nodding had. They didn’t want me to waste any writing. But I explained that what I tried to do with that paragraph didn’t work, and that my intro was stronger without the text. I hit delete. And they’re absolutely right, of course — the chapter is better without that text.

Gibbs:        And wow, I have not done that kind of classroom workshop real time. Editing type of experience and I can imagine that there's so much that happens there that's very different from the all writing all asynchronous space that I manage and. And asynchronous. I think really helps with a lot of feedback because especially for people who are less confident their first impulse is defensive, you know, and you read something the first time. It's like no, no, no. When you want to justify something or you know it's that that you know thing. We've learned that the negative critical questioning whatever comments are. Or a punishment. You know you failed. And so asynchronous gives you the space to let it sink in and and cool down. But making the discovery together like that and getting to share that moment also sounds really cool.

In addition to having students review faculty writing, Laura had another idea about ways to get students more involved — and more successful — with their writing.

Gibbs:        Well, I will just share what I learned very late in my teaching and. I wish I. Had figured it out 10 or 15 years earlier. Like I said, students. Had trouble with length and they usually wrote things that were too long that were just full of stuff that wasn't really advancing what they wanted to do. Like what you said about the paragraph, that could just go from an essay.

Well when my dad got ill a few years ago, I started writing. 100 word stories for him 'cause he couldn't keep his attention longer than a page, but he loved to read. And so I I bought all the 100 word story books I could find for him and he loved them. And then I realized I needed to start writing my own, so I. Started writing these hundred word stories a couple of years ago. And that was such an amazing breakthrough for me as a writer. It turned out to be my writers niche, and that's what I'm going to write for the rest of my life.

But sharing that with students was such a revelation because students who always felt unconfident about their longer pieces of writing. Really took hold of these 100 word pieces and ran with them and I think it was because they could really hold the whole thing in their minds at once. They could see the whole and I think when you and I read something longer we do see the whole. We see the whole of something that's 500 or 1000 words or two or 3000. Words, because we we can do that. I think a lot of students can't hold the whole of their writing at once to make it all work. To make it all flow, to have it be a whole integrated thing. But that 100 word piece of writing. They can see the whole thing. They can give every word it's due. They can pour themselves into it and see what's happening when they pour themselves into the 100 words.

So I am now a fan of all the ultra short forms of writing, you know and and my academic specially was fables and proverbs right? So why? Why did I not figure this out? That was a slave to this academic mode, where 100 words means nothing, right?

Friend:        Thing yeah.

Gibbs:        It's just the. Abstract that's all. 100 words can be is a summary in abstract. No 100 words can be a beautiful, amazing piece of writing on its own, so I would just urge everyone to experiment with ultra short forms of writing in your genre. In your context, whatever it is and see what happens,

Because honestly, that's when good things started happening for me that I never expected. We were able to publish books together. As a class. Because everybody could contribute. There was room for one or two hundred stories. In a book. The editing process for me was totally manageable, you know. So just that that practical side of 100 words in addition to all those sort of philosophical and aesthetic things going on was just great.

And so if especially if you feel like you don't have time to give enough feedback to your students about their writing short and what they're writing. Just make it shorter. Students will benefit from learning to write shorter. You'll give them better feedback. Everybody happy that is, that is my speech that I wish I had given myself using. You know, magical time machine 20 years ago.

Well, if 20-years-ago Laura couldn’t get that advice, at least today-years-old you did, am I right?

You've been hearing Teacher of the Ear. Just because the show is over doesn't mean the conversation ends. Everyone who contributed to this episode is accessible through Twitter, and so is the show itself. Along those lines, @TeacherOfTheEar and @chris_friend would like to thank @OnlineCrsLady (that’s @Online-C-R-S-Lady) for chatting with me on today's show. And a quick shameless plug from this episode: Kyle Stedman is creating a serialized audiobook version of Bad Ideas About Writing, the collection I mentioned that’s edited by Cheryl E. Ball and Drew M. Loewe. Just search for Bad Ideas About Writing wherever you get your podcasts.

But let’s get back to Teacher of the Ear. Our theme music is by Blue Dot Sessions. This episode’s cover art is by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash. The show is hosted on, and you can subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. The full catalog of episodes, including show notes and complete transcripts, lives at That’s

So that’s it for this episode of Teacher of the Ear. I’m your host, Chris Friend, from Kean University in Union, NJ. In our next episode, we’ll hear Cate Denial talk about her pedagogy of kindness. Until then, let’s all keep our ears open for more ways to empower educators and champion student agency.

Thanks for listening!