Posts Tagged ‘Professional Development’

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Vaguely Qualified

posted: 10.15.14 by Barclay Barrios

This week’s guest blogger is Katie Schipper.  Katie is a graduate student in the English department at Florida Atlantic University. She currently teaches two sections of first-year composition and believes in the value of writing as a means to express what we know and as a tool to acknowledge how much we have to learn. She also has two cats. [read more]

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Categories: Barclay Barrios, Guest Bloggers, Uncategorized
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Qualifications to Teach BW: Questions from the CBW Listserv

posted: 10.14.14 by Susan Naomi Bernstein

In a recent conversation on the Council on Basic Writing’s listserv (CBW), a correspondent asked about minimum qualifications for teaching Basic Writing. A listserv discussion ensued about appropriate degrees and necessary training. As minimum qualifications remain a long-standing question for the theory and practice of BW, we examined this conversation as part of our Teaching Basic Writing Practicum. [read more]

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying

posted: 10.8.14 by Barclay Barrios

My guest blogger today is Robert Curran, a graduate student in English at Florida Atlantic University.  He served in the Army in the field of military intelligence/interrogation but was injured before deploying overseas.  His hobbies include ghost hunting and watching cult films such as The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai Across the 8th Dimension.  While not traversing the state in search of poltergeists, Robert lives in Boca Raton, Florida, with his three-legged cat, Peg.

In this post, Robert meditates on the complex emotions connected to teaching—regret, fear, joy, worry, concern, and more.  [read more]

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Categories: Barclay Barrios, Guest Bloggers
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New Voices

posted: 10.1.14 by Barclay Barrios

I enjoyed having guest bloggers so much that I’ve decided to do it again.  This time I thought I would invite some really new voices: new graduate teaching assistants in our writing program. [read more]

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Course Evals

posted: 3.5.14 by Barclay Barrios

At my school we call them the SPOT forms: Student Perception Of Teaching.  But no matter the acronym, the existence of the course evaluation is nearly universal.

I’ve just finished reviewing the fall SPOTs for all of our teachers.  There’s a lot of discussion in my department about course evaluations in general and more specifically about how accurately they reflect the quality of teaching. [read more]

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An Open House Instead

posted: 1.30.14 by Nedra Reynolds

Beginnings are important, including the kickoff to a new semester. Typically, as a new semester begins here, the 50+ instructors who teach WRT courses in our department all gather for a pre-semester meeting.  There is often ho-hum information to disseminate (“apply for your new parking permit” and the like), but we try to put that in a packet and use the time together to talk about teaching strategies or successes. [read more]

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Hollering Between the Silos

posted: 8.3.12 by archived

This morning my daily post from IHE brought a link to Showcasing Academic Technology, which describes a collaborative e-Book (PDF) produced in ten weeks (!) by the University of Minnesota. That (along with a few other things I’ve been up to this summer) got me thinking about how to get interdisciplinary conversations and cross-pollinations happening on campus.

One such initiative at my college last year was a pedagogy discussion group. I only had the chance to participate once last year, but I hope to join more this coming semester. Although it was top-heavy with English folks, it did include faculty from psychology, history, and astronomy. The plan, as I understand it, will be to choose reading books for discussion, in addition to other topics that may interest the group.

Another project that aims to forge interdisciplinary connections for both students and faculty is our college’s One Book program; the selection for the upcoming year is Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. It’s always a bit of a balancing act selecting a book, finding something interdisciplinary in focus that’s both engaging and accessible. It seems very helpful to find some way for faculty to share their approaches ahead of time. For last year’s book, Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, a group of faculty presented a panel discussion about approaches they would use in their various disciplines, handily capturing the session for the college YouTube channel:

I’m planning to have most of my classes read the Skloot book this fall, so I’m hoping to get a chance to talk this summer or early in the fall with my colleagues across campus. [read more]

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Basic Writing DIY: The CBW Resource Share

posted: 7.23.12 by Susan Naomi Bernstein

Have you ever longed for a place on the Web where ideas for new basic writing course materials would be easily and readily available? Happily, such a virtual site now exists. Professor Elizabeth Baldridge, a basic writing teacher/scholar at Illinois Central College, has created CBW Resource Share, a new Web page with links to downloadable basic writing assignments, activities, and other resources. 

For years, teacher and scholars of basic writing have generously shared resources for assignments, course activities, and other pedagogical materials. Yet the circumstances for sharing presume privileges of time, financial resources, and institutional support. What happens, for instance, if we are hired at the last minute to teach a course at places, times, and days where colleagues may be few and far between, or if our modest paychecks make conference attendance prohibitively expensive? The virtual archive was created to ameliorate this sense of isolation, as well as to provide a central location for sharing our work in a do-it-yourself (DIY) space for professional development.

The Wiktionary  (Wikipedia dictionary) defines DIY as follows: “To perform oneself a task usually relegated to an expert.” At the same time, a DIY ethos, with deep roots in punk rock culture, encourages a leveling of hierarchies so that we can create opportunities to become experts ourselves, as a discussion on the CBW listserv in 2011 made clear.  Examples of DIY projects include self-producing and distributing ’zines and albums, knitting and repurposing used clothing, starting bicycle repair cooperatives and homegrown vegetable gardens, and, as Jason Dockter suggests, open access scholarship [read more]

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Bread Loaf

posted: 7.19.12 by Andrea Lunsford

Recently I wrote about an encounter with a schools-and-teachers basher whose adamant statements were based on no information or evidence, or at least none I could detect.  I met this character on my way to visit the Bread Loaf Graduate School of English campus at the University of North Carolina, Asheville.  I’ve written about Bread Loaf before, the school associated with Middlebury College that has offered MA and MPhil degrees in English for over ninety years.  Its home campus sits atop Bread Loaf Mountain in Vermont, and together with sister campuses in Asheville, Santa Fe, and Lincoln College, Oxford, it attracts some 400 students every summer, almost all of them teachers on “summer vacation.”  Five summers of seven-week sessions taking three courses yields an MA.  For my money, Bread Loaf is the best teacher development program in the country:  distinguished faculty from across the country gather with  the students for an intense summer of writing, reading, and talking about language, literature, rhetoric—and most of all about students and learning.  In addition to coursework, most teachers there devote themselves to preparations of the coming school year. [read more]

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What Is a Blog Carnival?

posted: 6.12.12 by Traci Gardner

On the ferris wheel at the Vermont state fair, Rutland (LOC)
When you hear the word carnival, you may not immediately think of academic reading, but I’m hoping to change that this week by explaining what blog carnivals are and why you should spend some time looking at what they have to offer. Come back next week for some ideas on how to use blog carnivals in the classroom.

So what is a blog carnival? Basically, it’s a collection of links to blog posts on a specific topic. If you think of blog posts as being similar to essays, a blog carnival is essentially an anthology or a collection of essays. The main page for the blog carnival is like the table of contents for the anthology, outlining all the pieces included in the collection. To read the items in the carnival, you click through and read the posts on the blog where they were originally published.

Two kinds of blog carnivals have developed over the years. One kind is a collection of links that have been found by an editor. ProfHacker’s monthly Teaching Carnival fits this structure. Each month, an editor looks for blog posts that provide “a snapshot of the most recent thoughts on teaching in college and university classrooms.” The June Teaching Carnival was edited by Billie Hara. In the carnival post, Hara arranges the links she’s collected into broad categories of The State of Education, Teaching, Technology, Teachers, Students, and Commencement Addresses. This kind of blog carnival creates a curated list for readers. [read more]

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