Boot Camp, Day Two: Why Johnny Can't Read
Tuesday's session went fairly well. The morning was spent going over policies and procedures -- our own, mind you -- and looking at Slattery's Teacher's Syllabus, which starts out really explicit and grows more taciturn as the semester progresses. The more I looked at my p&p, the more I began to wonder if I weren't talking over my students' heads. That may end up being a problem. One bit of advice we got on Monday was that it might be good to issue an anonymous survey to your class in the first few weeks, just to see how things are going, and I may try that.
After lunch (provided by the department), we got the general policies and procedures lecture from Dr. van Scyoc, who's somewhere between your ultimate commanding officer and your retired old grandad, and who's definitely a hoot. Actually, in all that plus his facial gestures and his smile-that-turns-into-a-laugh, he reminds me of PawPaw (a lot, really, which is somewhat unsettling). Anyway, there are a lot of do's and dinnae's, some of which are obvious and some not.
We finished out the day with some roundtable grading, which was helpful, in that I'd misread some of the practice papers (and discovered that I've a bad habit of making assumptions about students' papers). Still, that's all part of the process and will come out in the wash, to be sure.
I have also uploaded my policies sheet, syllabus, and the University's Academic Dishonesty sheet to my webspace; go to http://comp.uark.edu/~jcl08/, go to "Composition I", and play around from there. I'll probably jazz it up after a while, but hey, I don't even have students yet.

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