The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Additional Opportunities

Although teaching first-year writing is our primary mission, the Writing Program does offer TOs a variety of opportunities to gain additional experience. These opportunities, which are only available for current TOs working in the Writing Program, range from tutoring in our Writing Center, to serving on one of our committees, to participating in placement of first-year students. We encourage all of our current TOs to take advantage of these opportunities and to become involved in our teaching community. 

Resource Center Staff

Resource Center Mentor: Four veteran graduate instructors serve as mentors to new TOs and also work to enhance our teaching community. Resource Staff mentors visit classes of new TOs, are involved in the planning and running of orientation, assist with the Resource Center online database, and attend meetings every other week. Resource Center mentors also teach College Writing. These positions last for one year. Any teacher in our program who has taught two semesters of College Writing is encouraged to apply.

Technology CoordinatorAs a member of the Resource Center Staff, the Technology Coordinator will provide technology pedagogical support to the Writing Program teaching staff in the form of workshops and be available for one-on-one consultations. Like other members of the Resource Staff, the technology coordinator is involved in the planning and running of orientation, assists with the online database, and attends meetings every other week. Any teacher in our program who has taught two semesters of College Writing is encouraged to apply.

Englwrit 111 & Placement Coordinator and Placement Exam Readers

Englwrit 111 & Placement Coordinator: The Englwrit 111 & Placement Coordinator provides support to the Deputy Director in the two separate but related areas of Writing, Power, and Identity and the writing placement exam.  They help to provide teacher training to teachers new to Writing, Power, and Identity, develop supplementary materials for the Writing, Power, and Identity curriculum; assist with the development of exam questions; co-lead summer placement test reading, and scores placement tests (as needed) during the academic year. In addition to these responsibilities, this Coordinator teaches two sections of Writing, Power, and Identity during the year for a full TO stipend; a stipend is also provided for work on summer placement scoring.

Placement Readers: Placement readers read and score the Writing Program placement exam administered to all incoming first-year students through the UMass OWL (Online Web Learning) system before coming to New Students Orientation.

Technology Fellows and Social Justice Pedagogy Group

The Social Justice Pedagogy Group is for graduate student TOs who want to explore issues of diversity as they relate to the teaching of composition. During their meetings, participants  discuss relevant scholarship on the issues of diversity and pedagogy, identify areas in the Englwrit 111 or 112 curricula where discussion of diversity would be helpful, and develop an activity or approach related to diversity and to share this with fellow writing TOs.

Technology Fellows, or “Tech Fellows,” are graduate student TOs in the Writing Program who engage with questions of teaching writing with technology, both theoretically and practically, through reading, discussion, and hands-on play with technologies.Participation is open to any graduate instructor in the Writing Program regardless of technology experience. In fact, the Tech Fellows program provides a great opportunity for those less familiar with technology to explore the various ways technology can be incorporated into the writing classroom.

Fellows participate in meetings led by the Technology Coordinator during the spring semester.  A call for applications will go out in the fall semester; a small stipend accompanies this fellowship.

Writing Center Positions

Writing Center Graduate Writing Tutors: Writing tutors work with writers in 45-minute tutorial sessions, engage in ongoing professional development about writing and writing education, and assist with campus outreach like faculty and instructor workshops. Graduate writing tutors can work up to five hours per week and must be able to work either a Sunday or evening shift.

Writing Center Assistant Director: This is a full-time assistantship that offers hands-on experience in writing program administration and is an opportunity to tutor student writers, provide support for a large staff of undergraduate and graduate student tutors, and participate in the Center’s ongoing development.  Responsibilities include tutoring student writers, mentoring writing tutors, coordinating the Center’s daily activities, maintaining the Center’s materials, and engaging in outreach activities.