Transform. Walk. Freewrite.


                                                  snow on Jules' Poetry Playhouse labyrinth

Who knew a simple exercise such as freewriting, which I learned many years ago as a writing student and then teaching writing, would fit into my doctoral studies in teaching and adult learning? It is fun to have threaded discussions with my peers on learning theory and how we teach. We are learning about self-directed learning and transformative learning theory, among others (behaviorism, humanism, cognitivist, social cognitivist, constructivist, and andragogy). Do I remember anything from my undergrad psych class over 20 years ago? (nope).   


I am getting to know the theorists:  Knowles, Rogers, Mezirow, Piaget.  My husband John has a box of old books from his college days that he brought in from the garage. Yes, he has read Paulo Friere’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1968) and I’m next.


I am discovering the name of what my teaching style is and why I choose to teach writing the way I do.  I wrote a paper last week on my personal teaching philosophy opening with the quote from George Sand (which is on my website, and my mantra from Bennington)

"One knows what one has lost, but not what one may find"

                                                         -- George Sand


My Professor writes back:  I have doing this for many years and this is the first paper that I can remember that started with a French Novelist! Nice! I loved that you looked at your style and stating you are a writer who teaches and not a teacher that writes. Very clear review of your teaching style and your experiences with different approaches.”


I now have hope that my personal philosophy of writing and teaching can fit into my PhD studies somewhat. Yes, I am a writer-who-teaches not a teacher-who-writes.


And yes, I realized I used this quote on a previous blog post six months ago when I was two weeks into my PhD program.



So instead of posting on social media, I’m spending that time on discussions with my classmates. A good thing.  I’m continuing to work full time while going to school. I did this with my undergrad and my master’s. Wasn’t planned that way, but that’s how life works out.


I strive to be a facilitator of learning, not just a ”teacher.” I pay attention to what is happening with my students and with poetry. I want to let go to release the energy of others, to manage the process of that creative energy. My workplace is generally supportive and inclusive, and gives me the freedom to solve my own problems and is open to vulnerability and trust. My philosophy with Jules’ Poetry Playhouse has always been to have a safe, supportive, encouraging environment with creative writing and poetry where writers can come wherever they are at and hopefully grow into calling themselves poets and supporters of literature and the poetry community. Transforming.



(photo copyright 2021 Jules Nyquist)




  1. loved reading this and the insights you are gathering in your classes. keep it up!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts