This semester, I taught three different classes. At ASU, I taught the upper division (meant for sophomores and above) courses ENG 217:
|ENG 301 students working at the board.
- My students were very articulate about their needs from the very beginning of the semester. Many first time college students are not sure what they will need from a professor or a class in order to be successful, but I would say the vast majority of my students this semester approached me within the first couple weeks of the semester to tell me their learning needs or ask me very specific questions.
- The students were also able to stake their ground in issues more readily and firmly, most likely because they had already had class discussions and interactions that enabled them to form opinions prior to entering my classroom.
- My students this semester were less willing or ready to adapt to new styles of learning. As my teaching is heavily informed by the genre studies model, I have noticed that 18 year olds can understand and adapt readily to that style of instruction and composition. Some of my older students struggled a bit more to grasp the reasoning behind the model or the shift in thinking.
|The cover of a children's book composed
by an ENG 217 student for their
final course project.
- ENG 102: "I'm glad that in your class you had different assignments done in different formats. I think before this class I only knew one, but now I know a few more that will help in the future."
- ENG 217: "I never would want to be an English teacher unless it was teaching the stuff you taught us, real life writing."
- ENG 301: "I really appreciated [learning] how to construct with memos and how to use genres. I am already using it in my job now when speaking with other companies or prospective employees."
I also submitted three documents towards the completion of my doctoral degree this semester. In a simplification of the requirements, my Ph.D. will be completed in five steps:
- Course work
- Two portfolio papers & a bibliography submission
- A comprehensive exam based on the bibliography
- A dissertation prospectus setting up my dissertation work
- Writing and defending the dissertation work.
In a preview for spring 2016, I see things slowing down at least a little bit and coming in set of twos instead of threes:
|Abby and awesome SWES committee
members sending proposal responses and
- I am taking two research methods courses, both outside of the English department, but I hope that both will very helpful to me in coding and using data collected from my ENG 217 class in my dissertation.
- I will be teaching two hybrid courses. I have never taught hybrid courses before, so I am looking forward to that change. I will again be teaching ENG 301 at ASU and ENG 102 at CGCC.
- I will be attending two conferences. The first is obviously the Southwest English Symposium, which my co-chair, Abby Oakley, and I have been making good progress towards, and the second is the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) in Houston, TX in April. I am presenting work with my ISU colleague, Laurenn York, which I am really looking forward to.
- I also plan to complete at least two, and hopefully three, of the steps towards degree completion listed above. Fingers crossed!
I will conclude with a quote and a photo of, what I think, is one of the most beautiful places on earth: a small portion of the San Juan Mountains in Durango, CO, that I can't wait to visit again soon.
I opened each of my classes with this quote this semester, and then in a round table reading that concluded my ENG 217 class, a student read it again. I believe that it beautifully and honestly encapsulates the work and struggle of a Ph.D. student, as well as the hope and purpose of the work we do: