The Square Circuit

Academia, parenthood, living in a bankrupt city, and what I read in the process.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

back in the burgh

We had hoped to leave NYC after dinner and drive late into the night to get home, but since the boy wouldn't take his scheduled nap—which didn't allow us a leisurely afternoon—we powercleaned the sublet and hit the road at about 3:30. Stuck in traffic at the Holland Tunnel and then again for the endless I-78 roadwork in eastern PA. Home by midnight. All in all, not a bad drive.

It's back to work, and I'm frantically planning out a start-of-the-year workshop for the writing teachers. Although most of them are on board, there's some resistance. How do you all feel about teaching workshops, seminars, in-services, and the like? Is this the kind of continuing ed expected in professions like law, medicine, and engineering? Or is this an unnecessary burden?


  • At 11:35 PM, Blogger zp said…

    I wish my program (a literature program) had more teaching workshops. We've had informal teaching workshops throughout the semester, but they tend to turn into syllabus swaps and bitch sessions. This rather than a presentation of various styles, methods or principles for teaching, which I'd love. But in the end, if you pay attention to how you're taught, it comes to the same thing.

    My very best friend is in an english lit type program too and teaches a fairly traditional comp class. Her program prepares her for it rather thoroughly. We compare notes all the time, and agree that her program beats my fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants program in many ways, at least as far as preparing instructors goes.

    On the other hand, I appreciate a low level of beurocracy and I find it impossible not to reflect on the sucesses and failures of my various teaching practices, alone, in groups, with profs, whenever . . .

  • At 8:47 AM, Blogger mantooth said…

    yeah, it's a difficult tradeoff. So many of us go into academia because of the freedom and lack of oversight, but at its worst that results in those notorious profs who never show up for class once they get tenure. Too much oversight and you end up assembly-line teaching. Where do we put the balance between accountability and oversight and autonomy? How do we both get the best out of our teachers and ensure that they're doing what they need to do? And how do we do this without giving in to a consumeristic attitude toward education?


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