Knowing the Rules
A Reflective Essay
Keywords:college, English, freshman, grammar, graduate teaching assistants, GTAs, heart, imposter syndrome, orientation, university, writing
Drawing on the author’s 30-plus years of teaching experience and 18-plus years of directing the Writing Program at Wichita State University, this reflective essay examines some of the anxieties incoming graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) face concerning grammar instruction and how those are mitigated. While grammar instruction remains an important element of composition pedagogy, incoming GTAs often arrive to orientation with a lack of felicity with the rules, a sense of inadequacy knowing the rules, or both. The author postulates some reasons why this happens, but uses a gentle approach to poke some fun at the often over-seriousness of the entire endeavor.
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