Composing Possibilities

Welcome! The title of our site was inspired by bell hooks’s Teaching Community, a title which is in itself rich in meaning. Here in this space, we come together as a community of educators to draw on our collective knowledge in order to fulfill our charge — to teach and empower our students and, together with them, uplift the community in which we live, work, and teach.

As instructors of composition, one way of empowering our students is by helping them find their voice and instilling in them the belief that learning to communicate effectively can help them serve their passions and goals. Each classroom composition, then, becomes a place of possibility, a space for making connections between the lessons taught and learned in our classrooms, the knowledge our students have brought with them, and the aspirations that propel them forward. This is part of our role as teachers in the community’s college. This is a place where we can see, every day, education as an equalizer, a powerful tool for justice, a source of hope.

Openly and honestly talking about the ways we work for change and are changed in these essays, I hope to illuminate the space of the possible where we can work to sustain our hope and create community with justice as the core foundation.

— bell hooks

Even before those final compositions are turned in, possibilities for teaching, for learning, for connecting, abound. And that really is the goal of this blog, this space of possibility. What possibilities exist in our composition classrooms? What challenges do we face, and how can we see those challenges as places of potential for learning and growth? What possibilities can we mindfully nurture and encourage? We look forward to exploring and puzzling through these questions and more with you.

Our focus in 2020-21 will be on principles and strategies for practicing anti-racist pedagogy and supporting student success; each monthly event and our winter institute will have a different sub-topic and may have additional suggested readings, but our umbrella text for the year will be From Equity Talk to Equity Walk: Expanding Practitioner Knowledge for Racial Justice in Higher Education by Tia Brown McNair, Estela Mara Bensimon, and Lindsey Malcolm-Piquex.

The RCC Library has unlimited free access to our anchor text, From Equity Talk to Equity Walk. Access it here.

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