Preparations for 2008-09

I have been preparing for the upcoming year, during which I should take (and ideally pass) my doctoral exams. Teaching, thankfully, requires less and less preparation when you teach the same core year after year.

This is not to suggest that a course does not evolve and improve. Indeed, despite generally positive feedback from both my student evaluations and my faculty adviser, I recognize there are some things to add to my course. For each topic I add, I need to reduce or cut another topic. The fine-tuning never ends.
I always intend to record more of my experiences and thoughts than I do. But, I do at least internalize the lessons I learn and implement them.

This year the Dept. of Writing Studies seems much, much more organized. I have a clear sense of the goals of the department, the emerging philosophy, and how I might fit (or not) within the program. This is a great improvement, but I also understand that the last two years have been tumultuous for the faculty.

As a result of things being more settled, there is a common syllabus template. There is an emerging Intranet, as well. All of these things allow instructors, from full-time faculty to teaching assistants, more time to help students. When you spend less time preparing, you can  spend more time teaching and facilitating projects.

Much of my Web content is online and I hope my course is about 80 percent established. That's a good thing when I have a less than a month to work on any other projects.


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