You've called yourself a happy cynic. How does your cynicism influence or affect your classroom practices? Is it risky to be cynical?
Being cynical wasn't really a calculated move on my part; it's just how I am. I read a lot of Mad magazines and watched Monty Python when I was a kid, and some of my earliest TV memories are of my parents letting me watch The Smother's Brothers and Laugh-In as a fairly impressionable child.
I do try to avoid being cynical about the work my students do, at least when I'm interacting with the students. Many of them are struggling to gain some confidence in their writing abilities, so I try to be careful in those situations. When I collect student texts for my research, I have a policy to never use a student example in a negative way: I'll only use in the context of positive aspects.
One common project I have students do in a range of classes is to ask them to design something that violates the principles we've been talking about. Which I guess is a cynical approach, but it situates the cynicism differently and provides a buffer for everyone.
View further attributes of cynicism here from the 'happy cynic'------->>>>