Emerging, A Teacher

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I recently oriented our new teachers and graduate teaching assistants for the fall semester. Given that so much of my work running the writing program involves solving problems and putting out fires, spending a week mentoring new teachers was a special pleasure. As the week progressed I saw them emerging eager and confident and ready to enter the classroom. “Emerging”—it’s something of a theme for me.  I chose it as the title of my reader because I see first year students as emerging thinkers and writers. But with orientation just behind me I’ve started thinking about how we as teachers are emerging too—all the time.  It’s easy to see that process with new teachers, but I’ve started realizing that I too am still emerging. For example, my assistant Mike just taught me some cool classroom practices using Twitter, so this semester I’m changing my stance on cell phones in the classroom. The policy was that they had to be off, period. But more and more of my students are using their smartphones to add assignments to their calendars, check e-mail for messages I’ve sent, or locate resources on the Web. Given those legitimate uses of cell phones, my new policy states that portable technologies should be used responsibly or not at all. We’ll see how that goes. So this blog is about emerging (not Emerging). Becoming better teachers and scholars by sharing what we know and what we’ve learned. I hope you find something of value here, something that will help you keep emerging as well.
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About the Author
Barclay Barrios is an Associate Professor of English and Director of Writing Programs at Florida Atlantic University, where he teaches freshman composition and graduate courses in composition methodology and theory, rhetorics of the world wide web, and composing digital identities. He was Director of Instructional Technology at Rutgers University and currently serves on the board of Pedagogy. Barrios is a frequent presenter at professional conferences, and the author of Emerging.