It is rare to meet someone who does not struggle with procrastination and writer's block.
I am very open with my students that I have worked with a writing coach for more than a decade. After all, even top athletes need support and encouragement to reach their goals. I encourage students to think of college prep courses as an opportunity to go back and learn the fundamentals that will help them long into their academic career.
In time-limited academic courses, struggling to start, finish, and hand-in assignments is a serious barrier to success. However, it is also an opportunity to teach students new strategies that will carry them well into their future careers.
Relying on the research by Robert Boice and many others, I make it a priority to communicate to the students that suffering from procrastination and writer's block is not a moral failing. These are things that can be addressed through learning new strategies, working with writing coaches, and, when required, going for counselling from licensed counsellors.
After I saw peer support happening organically and working effectively in the library for a decade and then again in the Drop-In Centre as an instructor, I have built in class time and assignments to foster peer support.
Since I noticed that many students in English 050 and 090 struggled the most with procrastination when completing the Information Literacy Research Binder, I have built in more class-time to learn how to do the
For the final research assignment, I have built in a “homework check” like they do in Math
and Science worth 10% of the assignment to identify any students struggling and
I have scheduled the Student Presentations several days
before the Information Literacy Research Binder is due, instead of the same day, to identify those students
who may be struggling and needing help.