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Practical Matters

Class Materials

You and your students will generate most of the written materials in your course. Therefore, the Writing Program provides TOs with access to its copy machine for the reproduction of class material and subsidizes the publication of class magazines at the University’s Print Services Center in 151 Whitmore.


Photocopying Class Materials

All copying for class, except publications, is to be done on the Writing Program copy machine.  You are allotted 400 copies per section per semester. When you have reached that limit, your copy identification number will be removed and it will be your financial responsibility to make the remainder of copies for your class.  Because College Writing is a writing and not a reading course, we set this limit for pedagogical as well as budgetary reasons.  The machine is available Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4:00pm. To avoid the pre-class rush and occasional equipment problems, we strongly recommend photocopying handouts well in advance of your class. We also encourage you to explore ways to reduce paper use in your class (e.g., via Moodle).

Publishing Class Magazines

Central to College Writing is the students’ own writing. One way to bring student work into class is through the production of class magazines. Class magazines are produced through Print Services located in the basement of Whitmore Administration Building. Print Services should not be used for class handouts and other material that can be copied on the Writing Program copy machine. 

The procedure for copying at Whitmore is as follows:

  1. Come to the office with your publication ready to be copied.  The students must use standard 8 ½ x 11 paper.   Pages must be single-spaced with no staples or paper clips.   You must count and number the pages and provide a Table of Contents and a cover page.

  2. The Writing Program will give you a copy slip that you will attach to your publication.  It will have the number of original pages, number of copies desired (one for each member of your class and you), and a notation whether or not you want your publication stapled.

  3. Do not alter the slip once you have left the Writing Program office.  These slips provide our only record of expenditures, and falsified records jeopardize the Writing Program.  Also, do not try to secure copy slips in any manner other than the one described here.

  4. Instructors are responsible for delivering and picking up their publications at the Copy Center. The publication is usually ready within 24 - 48 hours from the time you deliver it.  Please plan ahead.

Class Roster and Grades

Class rosters and final grades for the course are processed through the University’s SPIRE system. You will have access to the roster for your individual section through your SPIRE account. In order to access your roster you login into SPIRE with your NetID (your UMass email account) and use alternative role as instructor. Since students do drop and add courses within the first two weeks, it is important that you obtain your NetID as soon as possible so you will have access to updated rosters.



TO mailboxes are located in the corridor outside the Writing Program main office, 305 Bartlett Hall.  Your mailbox is above your name.  Please check your mailbox regularly for important announcements from the staff or communications from your students.  Please do not, for reasons of privacy and security, use the mailboxes to return writing to your students.  For the same reasons, do not leave papers or portfolios in boxes in the hall outside your office door.


Email and the Web

You have most likely already received information from the University about setting up your UMass email account (NetID). We encourage you to do this as soon as possible, as you will need your official university email to access SPIRE, Moodle, the library databases,  etc. You will be receiving most correspondence from the Writing Program office via email, including weekly announcements. Therefore you should check your UMass email regularly. You are responsible for all information contained in these announcements. Hard-copy versions of weekly announcements will also be posted in the main office (305 Bartlett) as well as Bartlett 68.

You can also access this Handbook for Instructors, previous editions of our Student Writing Anthology, and other e-publications on the Writing Program website.  In addition, the website provides teacher FAQs, forms, and other important information.  Go to


The Writing Program Weekly “Blast”

Check your UMass email each week for the Writing Program Weekly “Blast.”  This weekly e-newsletter covers important information sent by email concerning the teaching of College Writing and Basic Writing as well as information about opportunities made available to you for professional development.  Please read the “Blast” in its entirety every week!



Instructors are paid every other week.  Direct deposit is mandatory. Information about this is discussed at the Human Resources orientation.  Your pay statement will be available to view on HR Direct.  To view your statement,

  1. Log into HR Direct through the UMass Human       
    Resource  website

  2. Enter your Net ID for your Campus User ID. Your Net
    ID is usually your first initial and last name like jsmith.

  3. Enter your password.

  4. Select Amherst under Campus.

  5. Click Login.



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