Sunday, March 26, 2006

Cs Report, Part 3

I attended a couple of panels specifically about two-year colleges, and I found them quite informative and encouraging. First, TYCA has put out some documents that should be of interest to anyone teaching in a two-year college.

Research and Scholarship in the Two-Year College

Guidelines for the Academic Preparation of English Faculty at Two-Year Colleges

Second, it seems there is an organized and sincere effort afoot to lobby the powers that be in graduate programs on behalf of those who will one day teach in two-year colleges. I don't know anyone who was actually trained to teach in a two-year college. I don't know anyone whose graduate work would have been anything remotely resembling preparation for the job. It's good to see that future grad students have some hope of a different experience.

The semester I defended my dissertation I decided to move back to Mississippi. It was the general way of things for the newly graduated to hang around teaching adjunct until landing a "real" job, but I decided that if I was going to teach adjunct, I'd just do it from home. The following fall semester I taught one section of British lit, one section of creative writing, and two sections of composition at JCJC in addition to two sections of technical writing at USM.

I can tell you, I learned a lot more that year than I had in writing my dissertation or taking my comps. I can also tell you that those comps in poetics and contemporary literature only spread so far in helping me through my first year of what my professors called "pack mule teaching."

I'm happy to see that people are working toward raising awareness of a need for a more generalist degree geared specifically toward two-year college teaching.

I also remember from my first year on the pack mule track that one of my professors said, "Don't stay there more than two years. If you do you'll be out of the loop."

That was ten years ago. I guess I'm out of the loop.

I am, however, very heartened to see real support, promotion, and encouragement for the notion of two-year college faculty as a legitimate, productive, and necessary part of said loop.

Thanks, TYCA.

3 comments:

Askinstoo said...
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Askinstoo said...
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