Hi there! I’m your instructor, Bradley Stabler.
I am passionate about education as a teacher and learner. Ever since high school I have lived the life of an active mind. It probably began earlier then that. My mother, when I was just a wee one, used to read me adventure stories about the knight’s of King Arthur’s Court, Robin Hood and Long John Silver. As I grew I developed my own tastes and preferences some of which I shared with my mom. For example, we both enjoy science fiction immensely. Even to this day, my mom and I recommend books, television shows, and movies to each other. I think that early exposure to literature greatly influenced the person I became. I enjoy learning and exploring new ideas and concepts.
In school, this is reflected in the diverse academic interests shown on my curriculum vitae. I graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in Russian Studies while working as a carpenter and foreman of a construction crew. Currently, I am enrolled as a graduate student in English Literature at Wayne State. I am interested in Medieval and Early Modern Literature, specifically, self-representation within religious and historical texts.
While my academic background is in literary studies, I, nevertheless, am qualified and well-prepared to teach undergraduate composition. I have worked for four years as an instructor at Wayne State. In that time, I have attended multiple training sessions, including a one semester practicum on composition instruction, worked in the Writing Center as a tutor, and taught four sections each of Introduction to College Comp. and Intermediate Comp. As a GTA, I have had the advantage of training by senior faculty, and I have served on the Mentoring committee to help new GTA’s. Additionally, I provided feedback to the curriculum committee as they in the designed and implemented new composition courses. These experiences have not only prepared me for the task of post-secondary instruction but have also formed the type of instructor I have become. Fundamental to my teaching philosophy is a willingness to refine techniques, lessons, materials, and assignments to suit the needs of my students.
I’m sharing this with my students in the hopes of fostering a similar attitude in them. I feel that a balanced approach focusing on two main elements, content material and the process with which it is examined and used, best serves my students as they work towards achieving course learning outcomes. Like many of my colleagues at Wayne, I teach composition as a discipline in its own right. This manifests itself in courses that deal with composition in one of two ways: writing across the curriculum wherein students practice standard conventions of argumentation and persuasion by writing essays based on their own interests, academic or otherwise; or writing about writing, a strategy that focuses on the process of writing using metacognitive exercises in conjunction with genre and discourse analyses. I feel that both of these methodologies have merits and limitations, limitations imposed upon them by student motivation as well as my ability to clearly articulate lesson material. Over the past four years, I have developed a hybrid approach to teaching composition that pulls on techniques and strategies of both. In short, I introduce student writers to both approaches. My classes approach writing as a tool to inform or persuade. Throughout the course of the semester, we discuss and analyze different texts and media, in an attempt to discover the conventions, registers, and styles used and how they are effectively employed or ignored.
I will attempt to present lesson material in a manner designed to create discussion and reflection. I also require student participation in in-class debates on current events topics and peer review sessions. Both of these activities occur multiple times over the course of a typical semester and allow for a structured approach for student-student and student-instructor interaction centered on the researching, writing, and revising processes. In the past, students have stumbled across fruitful topics in a short response or a classroom activity that have inspired them to do more thorough research for a final project. I have found that students, in general, respond well to my hybrid approach to teaching writing. I balance practice with the tools they need to be successful communicators with an examination of the processes and conventions that form those tools.
In April 2014, I received both my Provisional Teaching Certificate and Master of Arts in English. I believe that my education, professional and life experience, and commitment to learning afford me tremendous insight on the skills students need to learn prior to matriculation into the workforce or to college.
When not working, I like to travel and scuba dive and will probably bore you with stories of these activities or about my dogs. I am also a seriously amateur athlete, running in 5k races to support select charities.
Feel free to contact me via email or during office hours if you would like to chat about class or anything else!