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Whether we teach in junior or senior colleges, we often represent our teaching in the best possible light, leaving little room for acknowledgment or discussion of uncertainty or errors. It seems that the only way to discuss a set back is as part of a larger narrative, one where a failure is simply a precursor to success, a way of highlighting a challenge overcome.This wall of silence about our "messes" prevents us from honestly discussing our day-to-day work in the classroom. This article models just such a "messy teaching conversation."


Originally published in Teaching English in the Two-Year College, edited by Heidi Johnsen, Michelle Pacht, Ting Man Tsao and Phyllis van Slyck.



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