I’ve spoken a bit about what I plan for my spring semester teaching wise here a couple of times. I stated that I would be teaching English 320, which focuses on business and professional communication. I was excited to teach the class and had two sections lined up for the course, so no double preps for me. But after the semester ended, I realized one of my classes had a low enrollment. Not surprisingly, it was the class that was scheduled for later in the day. But my first section had a high enrollment and was nearly full.
I contacted the chair of my department about the low enrollment and stated I was fine with any of the options to keep my stipend and TA status, though I was most interested in the opportunity with the writing center on campus. All the same, I wasn’t sure how they felt about doctoral students there since I had previously heard that doctoral students couldn’t use writing center work in place of one of their teaching loads. Apparently, this was incorrect information since the chair stated that the writing center would be happy to have more doctoral students. So I sent off a letter of application, my CV, and in the body of the email explained my situation of the canceled class and needed an alternative. I also expressed my excitement about working in the writing center.
One of my goals for the long-term future is to work in administration. I’d be interested in working with WAC, WID or directing some type of writing program, whether first year, upper division, or both. The opportunity to work in a writing center would serve as good guiding experience in this goal.
I have also worked as a tutor before, though never worked as a writing center tutor. I have worked as a tutor for international studies at my undergraduate university where I worked with international students on work they had to do in their literature and writing classes. As a MA student, I worked with the McNair Program prior to obtaining my first TA.
I am excited for this opportunity. I also have to admit I like the fact my grading will be cut down significantly. For the graduate student, grading always feels like the biggest chore. I enjoy responding to student work, but having to give that work a grade is the thing I dislike. I always confess my dislike for grades and explain why on the second day of class and explain the difference between responding to their work and grading it. This semester will be no different.
Having only one section of a class also means, of course, that when I screw up in my first class, I can’t redeem myself for the second session. 🙂
Another benefit of having only one section is that I am now able to take a Tuesday night class I wasn’t willing to take since I was teaching that second section. Now I am free to take that class and it will work out much better for my degree anyway. The history class, while useful if I keep my dissertation topic, is only really useful if I keep my dissertation topic. 😉
I’ll know more about what is going to happen to my spring schedule when I get back to school in a couple weeks. I know that if the writing center takes me, I’ll be working there 10 hours a week. Right now I have Fridays off, but I doubt that will continue with the ten hours I would need to fulfill.
A girl can dream. Even a graduate student can dream.