Sunday, February 21, 2010

Fall 2010 preferences, and other news

Attached on the listserv version of this message is a preference form for fall 2010 teaching. You'll see a couple of changes from previous years, including the split between MWF and MW sections. Starting in fall 2010, we're going to try aligning MW afternoon sections with the TR schedule, so beginning at 1pm MW sections will be 75 minutes; 50 minute MWF sections will continue to be held from 7-12. As expected in my previous email, we will not be able to assign fourth sections to any of our part time instructors, so three sections will be the maximum.

Please take a moment to fill out BOTH preferred days/times (middle) and availability (bottom) sections of the form to help us make the best fit between schedule openings and your preferences.

Please return your form by email or to my mailbox by Friday March 5; let me know if you neeed a hard copy to fill out. If you know you won't be returning to teach for English next year, please tell me at your earliest convenience to help us anticipate hiring needs as soon as possible.

On that note, as a reminder, if you know of anyone who is interested in part time instructional work, please encourage them to apply through the HR website or contact me with questions. We're going to try doing most of our fall hiring as we write the first draft of the schedule to avoid undue pressure on last minute hires.

In other news, Meredith told me that she only has spring syllabi from about half of you. I'll try to get a list together this week and start chasing you down--but this can be avoided by simply emailing a copy of your syllabus to Meredith or putting it in her box.

We may be able to hold at least one face to face meeting during spring, probably the April 13 meeting which we had scheduled at orientation. There have been a number of good suggestions for meeting topics over the past few months, and I'm sorry we haven't been able to get to them yet. I'm especially interested in having a discussion, as suggested by one instructor, on dealing with students who depend on arguments of faith/belief in their academic writing courses. We've also had suggestions to address more explicitly concerns of teaching ELL students, defining and dealing with plagiarism, and so on. We may not get to all of these this semester, or have time to only touch on one or more of these issues, but I am trying to keep track of your interests so we can get to them as time allows.

Finally, whether face to face or via the listserv, we will have some news about new 2010/2020 texts, updated assignment sequences, and other important matters later this semester, so please keep your eyes open for notification of that decision and news. Those of you who teach 2010 and/or 2020 should anticipate shifting away from using the Allyn and Bacon Guide and adopting a new text; and we want to give you as much time as possible over the summer to prepare. I'm less sure about the future of Norton Field Guide, but will have more to tell you after deliberation with Grant and Gae Lyn, and your colleagues who are piloting alternative texts this term.

Thanks for your work--see you in the halls.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Copy center codes, and other news

  • A note especially for those of you who are teaching in multiple departments (i.e. English along with Basic Comp, Phil/Hum, Foreign Languages, etc.): please make sure when giving work orders to the copy center in SC to use the copy code that corresponds with each particular job, so that each department gets charged appropriately for its jobs and no other's.

  • We should be able to start on the Fall 2010 schedule soon, so start thinking about your availability. There's a new option in the works to hold classes MW afternoons, during the same periods as TR classes. I believe we'll keep the MWF hourly schedule through early afternoon (like 1pm), then shift over to 75 minute blocks for the remainder of MW afternoons; MW evenings will remain the same as in past semesters. I'll get a revised schedule preference form out once I'm sure of the new schedule system.

  • We'll be interested in hiring new instructors to fill in slots left by instructors who move, go on to graduate programs, and find other employment over the summer. We'll also anticipate continued enrollment growth and the need for opening additional sections. If you know someone who would make a strong first year composition teacher, holds a Masters-level degree (preferably in English or related field), and has some classroom experience, please encourage them to contact me or simply fill out an application through human resources.

  • Some of you have already expressed interest in summer teaching. We're not yet prepared to make assignments, but I'll certainly send out a notice to the list a couple weeks before scheduling so that you can get your preferences in the mix.

  • Amy passed on some documents (attached through the listserv) from a seminar held by FCTE on plagiarism. I've heard good things from a number of our group about the value of these seminars which cover teaching strategies, integrating technology into classes, etc. Contact Anton Tollman if you're interested in attending their events.

  • OK. Keep your eyes on your email for preference forms soon and let me know if there are any questions or concerns in your individual classes.

  • See you in the halls.