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Our semester is already well under way, and now that the dust has settled I am reflecting back on our orientation for new and returning teachers, which we hold each year the week before classes start.Much of the orientation is built around our teaching manual, “Emerging, A Teacher,” affectionately shorthanded as EAT. EAT covers FAU-specific concerns and contains all the sample papers for our workshop. The rest of the material we use is built into the Instructor’s Manual for Emerging. (Well, technically, it’s the other way around. Much of the material in the Instructor’s Manual originally came from EAT.)I’ve been curious about how other schools and programs handle orientation. Here’s our schedule for the week:Day 1: Monday, August 13: 10:30 – 02:3010:30-11:00  Introduction to the course philosophy and pedagogy11:00-11:30 Introduction to textbooks, structure, and pacing of the course11:30-12:00 Introduction to the writing program Blackboard community12:00-01:00  Lunch on your own01:00-02:30  Business matters and practical concernsNew Teachers: For WednesdayRead the Yoshino and Poe essays and come to orientation with a sample class activity for each essay. Refer to the section on class activities in Emerging for help in formulating these materials. Also, read the sections on Yoshino, Poe, Philosophy and Pedagogy, Class Activities, and Peer Revision in Emerging and The First Day and Beyond in EAT.Day 2: Wednesday, August 15: 10:00 – 02:0010:00-10:30   Class plans and reading questions10:30-11:00   From class activities to drafts 11:00-12:00   Reading drafts for promising moments12:15-01:15   Lunch on your own01:15-02:00   Peer revision and revisionNew Teachers: For FridayRead the Friedman and Olson essays and come to orientation with a draft of your syllabus (based on the syllabus template on the writing program Blackboard site) as well as planned class activities for the first two weeks of class. Read the sections on Friedman, Olson, Commenting and Grading, Language and Grammar in Emerging and Four Moments of Metathinking and Midterm and Student Progress in EAT. If you are teaching in a computer classroom, read the material on technology in EAT for Thursday.Day Three: Thursday, August 16: 10:00 – 02:0001:00-02:00   Computer classroom orientationAttend this session if you are teaching in AL 240, AL 337, AL 346 or if you would like to know more about teaching with computersDay Four: Friday, August 17: 09:30 – 04:0009:30-10:00   Drafted materials workshop10:00-10:30   The first day: writing samples and policies10:30-11:30   Commenting11:30-12:00   University Center for Excellence in Writing 12:00-01:00   Lunch01:00-03:00   Grading and portfolios03:00-04:00   Grammar, error, and the handbookAll Teachers: Before classes startRead the section on Technology in EAT; find your classroom, print your class roster, finalize and copy your syllabus, and make copies of the writing sample. New teachers will want to make sure they have completed the “check-in” process with the human resources department.What does your orientation look like? What would you change about it if you could?
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.