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Training & Development
Teaching in the Writing Program involves a significant training component. We best serve our students by putting the best possible teachers in their classrooms. We accomplish this by providing our graduate Teaching Associates (TOs) with the support and resources they need to grow and develop as teachers. Below are the main components of our extensive teacher training and development program.
The fall and spring general meetings are required for all instructors in the First Year Writing Program (Englwrit 111/112/112H), including TOs, lecturers, and Course Directors. General meetings are held on the Friday afternoon before the first week of classes of both fall and spring semesters. The fall meeting (this year on Friday, August 31, 2012, 12:30-3:00 pm, location tba) includes lunch and a group photograph.
The spring General Meeting of all First Year Writing instructors, held every year on the Friday before the first week of spring semester classes, is organized as a symposium, with break-out sessions led by TOs themselves and designed to generate discussion and innovation in teaching Basic and College Writing. For last year's program, click here (PDF). The next spring symposium will be held on Friday, January 18, 2013, location tba.
As a way to introduce new TOs to the Writing Program and College Writing, an orientation is held every year the week before the beginning of Fall semester (this year, it's August 27-30, 2012). Orientation is required of all new TOs, although veteran teachers (TOs who have already taught one year in the Writing Program) are invited to attend. Orientation consists of a series of theoretical and practical sessions designed to prepare TOs for teaching College Writing. New TOs must attend all sessions without exception.
As a part of ongoing training, members of the Writing Program staff offer a series of workshops on our curriculum and topics related to the teaching of writing. During the Fall semester, these workshops, held on Tuesdays from 11:15 am-12:30 pm, cover each unit taught in College Writing. New TOs are required to attend all Fall workshops. The workshops begin on the second Tuesday of the semester and meet every other week.
For a schedule of this year's (2011) workshops, click here.
Each new TO is a member of a regularly-meeting pedagogy group led by an English Department or Writing Program faculty member (Course Director). These meetings ensure the consistent application of Writing Program principles and techniques in all of our classes and also work to build a teaching community among all instructors within the Program. As in any community, members share their experiences and views in order to learn from one another.
These meetings provide the opportunity for TOs to come together as colleagues to reflect on their teaching and focus on issues that arise in the classroom. Likely meeting topics include conducting peer response groups and student conferences, setting appropriate goals and objectives, designing writing activities and assignments, responding to and evaluating student writing, and grading.
For rosters of CD Groups, click here.
Teaching Associates in their second year of teaching for the Writing Program are required to participate in a teaching practicum: English 698V Special Topics in the Teaching of Writing. (We'll take care of registering you.) Building on the day-to-day teaching practice emphasized in Course Director groups, the practica invite you to explore pedagogical issues that reflect writing and student writers in the 21st century.
Practica meet every other Monday. Please mark your calendars for fall 2012 meetings: 9/10, 9/24, 10/9, 10/22, 11/5, 11/19, & 12/3. Note that 10/9 is a Tuesday but a Monday schedule according to the university.
The first practicum meeting in the fall focuses on a shared Writing Program concern—e.g., teaching philosophies, curricular changes, and more. For the remaining practica (2 series of workshops per semester), TOs can choose from several concurrent workshop series on language diversity, technology and writing pedagogy, and other special topics. Each practica explores conceptual approaches to the teaching of writing (incl. 2-3 readings) and works to apply this discussion to classroom practice.
Each schedule must include at least one series on each of the following (during your 3rd or 4th semester as a WP TO): (a) Technology & Writing Pedagogy (b) Language Diversity. If you're teaching in the Writing Program for the full academic year, please indicate preferences for fall and spring; if you are only teaching with us for fall only, then please indicate preferences for fall only.
You can read descriptions of next year's practica here.
PLEASE RANK YOUR PREFERENCES BY AUGUST 15, 2012 by clicking here. We will do our best to accommodate preferences. Your mentor will contact you in late August to schedule an individual meeting, and we will confirm practica schedule by September 10. More details to follow.
Syllabi & Calendars
For College Writing syllabi and calendars, click here.