(I numbered the weeks in a weird way above ^^^ because WordPress does this stupid thing of putting 10 after 1 instead of 9, as if it’s a word rather than a number. And I want the current week to continue appearing always at the end of the list, so I’ll keep numbering them this way as the weeks go on.)
I’ve been thinking a lot about our discussion last week, and there are a few threads that I want to make sure we keep open as we also venture into new subjects every week.
Among them, I want to note three. And I’m going to describe the lingering questions I think we need to discuss surrounding them, so you can think about your questions/concerns, too, and raise them as you like, either here or when we meet:
- Faculty absences: What are the policies, procedures, and best practices for faculty who need to miss a class, or who anticipating missing one– or more than one?
- Faculty ability/disability (this question is latent in the first): As students sometimes need “accommodations,” faculty do as well, but how does that work– through what processes, with what kinds of expectations on all sides?
- Observations: What role do observations serve in the department/college/GC, and what can we all do to make them as beneficial as they can be? (We only talked about this briefly, so I’m really not sure whether I’m describing the question correctly.)
To ground our discussion in the institutional context at QC/CUNY, I just want to point you toward a few documents with relevant info.
Here’s the statement on absences from The Other Side of the Desk:
If you have to miss class, please notify someone in the English department office and the directors of First Year Writing. If you have to miss more than one class over the course of the semester, please make arrangements to have someone substitute for you and make sure you notify someone in the First Year Writing Program.
I understand that this statement may raise as many questions as it answers, and we can discuss your questions when we meet. Also note this policy that governs our sick leave thanks to the union. And here’s some more information about the observations from the Adjunct Project and the union, too.
And. As we talk about these ^^^ subjects that can become sensitive for some if not all of us (I think it might be all?) sooner or later, I also want to make sure that we keep coming back to the questions that are pressing for you, and to ask: How can we use this week’s readings become better teachers for our students, individually and together, today and in the long term?
I am interested to know where your attention rests in these readings, so I’m not going to say too much.
Just that there are some ideas in these texts that have helped me a lot in my research, and I have enjoyed putting some thought into the concept of “the reading class.”
And I always love the work of my friend and colleague, Amy Wan. I wonder how you see her article resonating with the work we’re doing at QC.
There and elsewhere: What passages should we discuss, and what do you think?
We didn’t even get to the 2 essays and the poem last week. We must do that this week. I would also love to know the grading questions that are on your mind, as you go. If it’s helpful, you could use your blog post to formulate those, too.
One more thing: I have left time in the final weeks of the calendar to address the pedagogical questions/concerns/enthusiasms that feel the most urgent to us as a group. So, think about it! How should we use this time?
We could have a visitor come talk to us about the offices we work with elsewhere in the college– it could be a librarian, maybe, or Marco Navarro at the Writing Center, or somebody from Student Affairs, or whatever you think would be illuminating for you.
Or we could do some model teaching— practicing on each other things that we will also do in the classroom.
Or we could do workshops, which would give you more nuts-and-bolts practice with things like designing lesson plans, writing prompts, whatever you like.
Or there are a million other possibilities.
THINK ABOUT IT and get ready to convince the rest of us to spend our time together the way you like.