Dr. O is creating English courses for undergraduates
1
patron
$1
per month
Who am I, and what do I do?

I’m Dr. O, and I teach English literature and creative writing to undergrad students. Most of the students I teach aren’t English majors – they’re chemists, anthropologists, art historians, mathematicians, and business majors, just to name a few. But usually, their program requires that one English course. That one program requirement, usually in their first year, when they get to study fiction and practice writing persuasive essays.

I say “get to” – but since it’s a requirement, not all my students want to be there. A lot of them feel a bit anxious, especially if English isn’t their area of natural interest. So, it’s my job to pick books that grab their attention instead of feeling like a slog. And it’s my job to make writing essays seem more like a puzzle and less like a chore.

How do I do this?

Get students talking. The person who’s doing the talking is doing the learning, and I want that to be them, not me. Sometimes that’s simple. Other times, I need to give a lot of encouragement to get them to that stage.

Get students moving. It’s not easy to get students up and about in a traditional lecture hall or classroom set up. Even your typical “group work” assignment usually means sitting in a circle staring at each other. I use materials and interactive stations to encourage students to learn physically

Get students curious. I don’t want to pound lessons into them; I want to draw connections between books or ideas, and then let them carry those ideas forward. If they start asking questions I didn’t anticipate, then I feel like I’m making the class worthwhile.

What I'm creating

For students, I’m creating tutorials and how-tos. I want to help you learn to read and write better, just as I do for the students in my classroom. I want to make explanations and advice that suit you. For patrons at the Scholarship tier, I'll work with you one-on-one as an English tutor.

The tutorials I create are geared towards undergraduate students. It will include examples both of what not to do, and of how to change strategies and approaches to correct a problem. I'll start with a standard piece of advice instructors often give to students, then show how to apply a solution and respond to that feedback successfully.

For teachers, I'm creating scholarship of teaching and learning. How do students learn best? What motivates them? What materials and lesson plans work best? I'm working on the answers to these questions at the same time that I'm teaching.

I create lesson plans which include learning objectives, a time table for different lesson components, a list of materials (with substitutes), ways to check for student understanding, and an example of how to apply the lesson to an example text.

Each month, I will publish at least one tutorial or lesson plan, plus one post called "Will It Teach?", where I evaluate in depth what makes a good text for an undergraduate classroom.

What I’m funding

Let's be clear - the university system is changing. I work part time with no benefits. Anything extra I do for my students beyond showing up to lecture and office hours, I'm doing on my own time and my own dime.

I want to bring something new into the classroom each day. I want to go beyond a PowerPoint lecture! I want students working with their hands as well as their minds. Your contribution helps me to cover the cost of printing handouts, bringing in materials, and developing new lesson plans. You're helping me make English class interesting again!

Patreon is like a subscription service, allowing you to tip a small amount every month ($1 or more) using a credit card or PayPal. Your account won't be charged until the end of the month. You can cancel your pledge any time, for any reason. I'll still be teaching, but every dollar helps me do more for my students - and reach out to more people who are interested in what I have to teach!

Thank you!

Whether you become a patron or you're just here for the English geekery, thank you so much for your interest and your support. I hope you'll contribute with questions and opinions, and that you'll want to help out students in my classroom as well.

Tiers
Tips
$1 or more per month

You'll get access to all my patron-only posts and previews of the lesson plans I'll be trying in class. You'll also get to vote in the monthly "Will It Teach?" poll - where patrons get to pick a book and I'll post a review describing whether I think it's a good text to bring into the undergraduate classroom, and why.

Tricks
$10 or more per month

You get all the same benefits as the Tips tier. You'll also get to submit one question per month that I'll answer in an in-depth patron-only post. Whether you're a student or a teacher, I'm interested in tackling your questions not only about learning English, but about the behind-the-scenes work of teaching.

Scholarship
$50 or more per month only 3 left

You get all the same benefits as the Tips and Tricks tiers. You'll also get to schedule one monthly half-hour session with me on a topic of your choosing. This can be by Google Hangout or instant messenger. Need help with an essay? Want to talk through whether a lesson will work in the classroom? Interested in teaching a text I've taught? I offer critiques, feedback, and an interested listener!

Goals
$1 of $100 per month
My first goal is a modest one - I want to cover the cost of printing and stationery for the materials I bring into the classroom. $100 a month will cover paper, ink, markers, post-its, newsprint, and whiteboard markers, and other supplies - plus my time in developing hands-on lesson plans for my students. Thank you for your contribution!
1 of 1
Who am I, and what do I do?

I’m Dr. O, and I teach English literature and creative writing to undergrad students. Most of the students I teach aren’t English majors – they’re chemists, anthropologists, art historians, mathematicians, and business majors, just to name a few. But usually, their program requires that one English course. That one program requirement, usually in their first year, when they get to study fiction and practice writing persuasive essays.

I say “get to” – but since it’s a requirement, not all my students want to be there. A lot of them feel a bit anxious, especially if English isn’t their area of natural interest. So, it’s my job to pick books that grab their attention instead of feeling like a slog. And it’s my job to make writing essays seem more like a puzzle and less like a chore.

How do I do this?

Get students talking. The person who’s doing the talking is doing the learning, and I want that to be them, not me. Sometimes that’s simple. Other times, I need to give a lot of encouragement to get them to that stage.

Get students moving. It’s not easy to get students up and about in a traditional lecture hall or classroom set up. Even your typical “group work” assignment usually means sitting in a circle staring at each other. I use materials and interactive stations to encourage students to learn physically

Get students curious. I don’t want to pound lessons into them; I want to draw connections between books or ideas, and then let them carry those ideas forward. If they start asking questions I didn’t anticipate, then I feel like I’m making the class worthwhile.

What I'm creating

For students, I’m creating tutorials and how-tos. I want to help you learn to read and write better, just as I do for the students in my classroom. I want to make explanations and advice that suit you. For patrons at the Scholarship tier, I'll work with you one-on-one as an English tutor.

The tutorials I create are geared towards undergraduate students. It will include examples both of what not to do, and of how to change strategies and approaches to correct a problem. I'll start with a standard piece of advice instructors often give to students, then show how to apply a solution and respond to that feedback successfully.

For teachers, I'm creating scholarship of teaching and learning. How do students learn best? What motivates them? What materials and lesson plans work best? I'm working on the answers to these questions at the same time that I'm teaching.

I create lesson plans which include learning objectives, a time table for different lesson components, a list of materials (with substitutes), ways to check for student understanding, and an example of how to apply the lesson to an example text.

Each month, I will publish at least one tutorial or lesson plan, plus one post called "Will It Teach?", where I evaluate in depth what makes a good text for an undergraduate classroom.

What I’m funding

Let's be clear - the university system is changing. I work part time with no benefits. Anything extra I do for my students beyond showing up to lecture and office hours, I'm doing on my own time and my own dime.

I want to bring something new into the classroom each day. I want to go beyond a PowerPoint lecture! I want students working with their hands as well as their minds. Your contribution helps me to cover the cost of printing handouts, bringing in materials, and developing new lesson plans. You're helping me make English class interesting again!

Patreon is like a subscription service, allowing you to tip a small amount every month ($1 or more) using a credit card or PayPal. Your account won't be charged until the end of the month. You can cancel your pledge any time, for any reason. I'll still be teaching, but every dollar helps me do more for my students - and reach out to more people who are interested in what I have to teach!

Thank you!

Whether you become a patron or you're just here for the English geekery, thank you so much for your interest and your support. I hope you'll contribute with questions and opinions, and that you'll want to help out students in my classroom as well.

Recent posts by Dr. O

Tiers
Tips
$1 or more per month

You'll get access to all my patron-only posts and previews of the lesson plans I'll be trying in class. You'll also get to vote in the monthly "Will It Teach?" poll - where patrons get to pick a book and I'll post a review describing whether I think it's a good text to bring into the undergraduate classroom, and why.

Tricks
$10 or more per month

You get all the same benefits as the Tips tier. You'll also get to submit one question per month that I'll answer in an in-depth patron-only post. Whether you're a student or a teacher, I'm interested in tackling your questions not only about learning English, but about the behind-the-scenes work of teaching.

Scholarship
$50 or more per month only 3 left

You get all the same benefits as the Tips and Tricks tiers. You'll also get to schedule one monthly half-hour session with me on a topic of your choosing. This can be by Google Hangout or instant messenger. Need help with an essay? Want to talk through whether a lesson will work in the classroom? Interested in teaching a text I've taught? I offer critiques, feedback, and an interested listener!