Dr. Rebecca Manery received her MFA in Creative Writing at Bennington College, as well as her MA in Literacy Education from Northeastern Illinois University. Dr. Manery has recently earned her doctorate in English and Education from the University of Michigan. This semester, she is teaching four sections of ENG 103: Rhetoric and Writing.
How would you describe your perspective on teaching?
I share a view of teaching and learning as an interactive process in which understandings are constructed rather than given. As a teacher, my goal is to be a co-learner who actively engages students in their own learning.
When are your office hours?
Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:00-3:00 P.M. and by appointment.
What are you currently reading?
I’m eager to begin reading Building Home: A Citywide Poets Anthology. This collection of performance poetry by Detroit teens was recently featured in The Detroit Free Press. I just finished reading The True American, the Freshman Connections featured book. My students and I attended the moderated discussion with Anand Giridharadas and Raisuddin Bhuiyan which has us thinking about how we can promote a world without hate.
What is a text that you think everyone should read?
I don’t think there’s a single text that everyone should read. In fact, after reading my students’ literacy narratives, it’s clear that many of them lost their joy of reading because they were forced to read books that didn’t interest them. There are so many wonderful books out there, but not all of them speak to me. I want my students to discover the books that speak to them, but that’s difficult to do when all the reading they are assigned to do has been chosen by someone else.
What is your biggest pet peeve in the classroom or a big mistake that students tend to make?
Learned passivity is my biggest grievance with students. High school students often become dependent on teachers to tell them what they are supposed to do, remind them of deadlines, re-explain assignments, etc. That won’t fly in college. I understand it’s easier to shoot off an email to your professor than double-check the assignment sheet, ask a classmate, or come to office hours, but I have 100 students. If I answered all of the “what am I supposed to do” emails I get, I wouldn’t have time for anything else.