(last updated winter 2016)
When I went to the 2014 Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC), I visited the booth for the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives (DALN). The DALN houses thousands of recordings from students and teachers discussing watershed moments in their literacy development. At CCCC, volunteers at the DALN booth recorded video narratives from conference goers, and I wanted to participate. However, as I sat in front of the camera, I was at a loss; I had so little recollection of how I learned to read and write that I couldn’t even come up with one story. This troubled me. When I returned home from the conference I asked myself, how can I teach students to write when I can’t even remember how I learned? After careful reflection, I discovered how I grew most as a writer and realized that my students saw similar progress when I used the same methods. In my classroom, I work to give students exposure to concrete audiences and tangible purposes, show them how analysis leads to informed and deliberate document production, allow them to explore their multifaceted identities, and enable them to use accessible technology to craft their documents.