Weekly Reading Responses: You’ll write a response to course readings each week on our course website. Responses should be approximately 300 words for all readings for the week and should include a brief response and questions the texts raise for you.

Discussion Lead: The final six of our fourteen class meetings will be led by each of you. You will choose a topic related to composition theory and instruction that interests you, choose ~3 article-length readings for the day, and help lead us in a discussion about the readings and topic. We’ll ask that you draft a formal proposal for your topic, readings, and activities and select a date to present on Sept 17. Your presentation + discussion lead should entail your writing 1-2 pages of notes and your responses to the topic and readings, and you should come prepared to help facilitate the discussion reading based on your notes. You may focus on anything you like relative to the day’s readings, but here are some possibilities: an insight that you find particularly useful for teaching; a point you disagree with; and/or a follow-up question that explores or complicates the implications of the reading.

Teaching Portfolio: During the semester, you will compile a digital teaching portfolio representing your experiences in the classroom and your beliefs about teaching. You will turn in your portfolio at the end of the semester, but it will contain materials that you could use on the job market.

Your digital portfolio should be housed on Blogs@Baruch and will be password protected so that only you, Cheryl, and Lisa can view it. (See “Creating a Blogs@Baruch Site” document on our course website for directions if you need them.) It should include separate page tabs for each of the following[1]:

  • Teaching journal: We’ll ask that you post your reflections and questions about your teaching experiences at least four times during the term, around once per month, although you could do more if you find it helpful. These entries should appear under your Home tab as “new posts” and will appeal chronologically. The remainder of the contents below should be “new pages.”
  • Teaching philosophy: By the last day of class we’ll ask you to compose a statement of your beliefs about and approaches to teaching composition.
  • Course syllabus: Post your initial syllabus, and by the end of the final week of classes upload an annotated syllabus as well. On the annotated version, use Word Comment to write about the usefulness of the required texts, the utility of activities (e.g. conferences, quizzes and other in-class work) and assignments, how the course related to student needs and abilities, the effectiveness of the pacing, and other matters you would consider for improving the course next time.
  • Assignments: Post your major course projects/assignments.
  • Sample student work(s): By November 1, post a variety of student writing that support your teaching philosophy/assignment goals (at least three along a range of grades; you will need these for your teaching observation in November.)
  • Peer evaluation: You will be observed and evaluated by a senior member of the faculty in November. You will be contacted, likely via email, by the faculty member to arrange the best day for her/him to visit your class. You should be prepared to share your syllabus, course assignments and context for the day’s visit, the day’s agenda, and a set of 3 student papers along a range of grades with your comments and grade. Within 1-2 weeks after the observation the faculty member will arrange to meet with you to discuss the class. For this page on your portfolio, please write your reflections about the process—what went well, not so well, and what you may adjust based on the feedback you receive.
  • Student evaluations: Include any student questionnaires or evaluations you may have given, e.g. midterm evaluations. Add the college end-of-term evaluations when you have them as you may need these on the job market.

[1] For a good example of an academic’s professional website (that includes a teaching section with a teaching philosophy) see Jason Palmeri’s site. For a sample teaching portfolio site Lisa used while on the job market in 2013 please see:
user name: blankenshipteaching; password: committee