My teaching philosophy? Number one: figure out what my students are really trying to accomplish in their writing, including all the intellectual and emotional undercurrents. Number two: help them find a way to get there - or, closer anyway.
Of course, that simple formula is never quite so simple; it takes time to understand what is getting in their way. The need to improve skills like pacing or narrative distance is obvious. But does this student give herself enough room to think things through? Can another combine his easy wit with depth so his characters have enough dimension to live the story he has imagined for them?
Are they ready to dig deeper? I hope so because the next part of my job is to challenge my students to go past what is easy, congratulate their accomplishments, then continue to push - all the while, standing alongside ready to help.