Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi friends,

Just curious, but what is the teaching load required for funding at your school? Obv. this varies from package to package, and if you don't want to share which school you go do, that's super cool.

Where I'm coming from: I was offered a package where I would teach my own class right of the bat this upcoming fall, and if I had testicles, they'd have climbed up between my lungs for comfort. Is this normal? Not my imaginary testicles thing, but conducting your own class first thing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am starting an MA and even so, I have to teach my own class starting this fall :mellow: I didn't think such a thing was possible. 

I was an elementary school teacher so I know what it feels like to lead a classroom, but the thought of 23 college freshmen staring back at me (in a foreign country!!!) makes me quite nervous. 

I guess we will be fine?! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Diagon, I hope so! I taught years ago, and the first semester was horrible. The second wasn't. I've never taken the course I'd be teaching, so I'm super nervous about the learning curve.

College freshman are almost as unhygienic as elementary students, so there's that :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you say teach your own class do you mean one where you select the subject or just one where you are the lecturer? I believe that most programs have you do the latter in your 2/3 or 3/4 year, with the possibility of the former or latter in the 5/6 year. I'm in an MA and will be tesching a class next year, but the syllabus is preselected.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am finishing up my MA in literature this semester. I have worked as a GA throughout the 4 semesters, attending class with my professor and working with his students on papers. I took the pedagogy class that leads to teaching last fall and now teach my own section of Rhet/Comp II this semester. As a result, I will have a 2 class teaching load in the fall at the Ph.D. program I am entering. It is my understanding that students in the program who have no teaching experience will work pretty much as I did throughout my MA or in the writing center for one year. During summer, I will attend an orientation and teaching survey week, prior to the beginning of class. At the new program I will be entering it's a 2/2 structure with nothing in the summer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At UNC it's a 1/1. At KU, where I got my masters, it's a 2/2. I taught straight out of my BA at KU, and it was fine. They know nothing. They'll believe everything you say. 

Edited by CarolineNC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is pretty common. At OSU, you teach in your first semester if you come in with an M.A., unless you get a fellowship. I truly love teaching, and it's at least as important to me as research / writing, but I'm admittedly very grateful to not have to deal with teaching right away in a new program...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did not teach at all in my MA (except for electing to TA undergrad lit courses for no compensation). I will be teaching 1:1 in my PhD at Duquesne. The first semester, I'll co-teach a course with a student with more advanced standing in the program. After that, I'll be on my own. I will teach first-year writing every fall and an introductory lit course every spring, and they will try to arrange for me to co-teach an upper-level course with a faculty member in my fourth year. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I taught at both programs, one course per semester and each and every summer. Most of these classes were classes I taught completely on my own. When I taught composition, I had 25 students per class. When I started teaching literature surveys, I had 50 students per class. I never did the "TA a big lecture class" experience. My first "fellowship" year came when I was working on my dissertation and won a national fellowship. 

It's definitely doable, but you really have to compartmentalize, and that's hard to do at first because it can take some time to get used to teaching. The most important thing is to keep your eye on the prize and constantly remind yourself that you're there to get a degree, not to bond with undergrads or change undergrad lives. Prioritizing your own work is necessary for survival in a high teaching load program. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At Rutgers, the teaching and fellowship years are split. You're on fellowship for your first year. You teach comp as a solo instructor your second year (1/1 course load). In your third year, you do a mentored TA for an introductory lit class in the fall and either teach Comp again in the spring or hope that you get assigned to another lit class (I was the TA for my advisor's Shakespeare class that semester) - you're also reading for exams this semester. In your fourth year, you do a 2/0, usually a mix of stand-alone Comp and Lit classes (double Comp if you're unlucky or if you already got a stand-alone during the previous summer). So in the spring semester of that year you're not teaching. Fifth and sixth years you're on fellowship again (sixth year you can choose to take a fellowship or a TAship, but most people take fellowships). You teach another 2/0 in your seventh year. The administration encourages us to do 2/0s our two teaching years after orals exams, since it gives us more time to write in the second semester. You can request a 1/1 however if you really want it.

I'm in the second semester of my fourth year, and I really like this system. If you can switch a 1/1 to a 2/0 and you're the kind of person who would benefit from that, it might be worth doing. I find that teaching is such a strain on my time and mental resources that I'd rather do it all in one semester and pick away at an article or a chapter I've already written, then do all my serious work in the spring with no other responsibilities.

I wouldn't worry about teaching. I got tossed into a classroom first semester of my second year with maybe a weekend of Writing Program pedagogy training? It's fine. With most introductory classes, the syllabus is designed for you and you're given a selection of texts to teach. You develop pedagogy skills by being in a classroom and using them, so you'll become a much better teacher by the time that first year is over! It's also worth contacting Writing Program folks (who know so much more about this stuff than we do and are actually properly trained) and they can put together a list of pedagogical resources for you. I also get a lot of of reading Composition and Pedagogy journals (many of which are open source and available online).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Teaching something like freshman comp right off the bat on your own isn't terribly unusual in PhD programs (especially at very large, public universities).  The dept. will probably give you a week long workshop of some kind to get you ready, but frankly, you learn to teach by teaching and the best way to do it is to give you a bit of prep then turn you loose.  No amount of training workshops can simulate the contingencies of a real classroom anyway.  While it may seem odd to learn this sort of thing on the job, I can't imagine a training program that would really make you "ready" to step into your own classroom.  After all, every classroom is different and poses unique challenges.

In my program we're fortunate enough to get fellowships our first year, and then begin teaching the second year.  Our TAships are a 1/1 with summer teaching offered third and fourth and occasionally fifth year as demand/enrollments dictate.  I honestly can't imagine doing more than a 1/1 as a grad student, but I'm sure folks find a way to make it work.  Here you start off doing freshman comp, then you TA for a large lecture in your specialty, before then being turned loose to make your own Intro-to type courses in your later years.  Summer classes offer opportunities to teach self-designed required and elective major courses.

Edited by jrockford27

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a comp/rhet MA at Miami of Ohio, and all MAs -- comp/rhet, lit, and CW -- start teaching in the fall of their first semester. We have a two week teaching practicum before the semester starts and a 1-1 load our first year and a 2-1 load our second year. We teach a comp course the first year and can apply to teach a themed advanced comp course our second year.

I was really worried about this coming in, but it all worked out! My first semester teaching went better than I thought, and I really enjoy teaching!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have to ask a silly question: I've seen the usage of 1/1 or 2/2 before. What does that refer to? Like one section of one subject, ex. you teach 1 section of Comp 1? 

Thanks in advance to whoever replies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, orphic_mel528 said:

Have to ask a silly question: I've seen the usage of 1/1 or 2/2 before. What does that refer to? Like one section of one subject, ex. you teach 1 section of Comp 1? 

Thanks in advance to whoever replies.

1/1 means that you teach one section of a course in the fall, and one in the spring. 2/2 means that you teach two sections (or two courses) in the fall, and two in the spring. You can probably infer 2/1, 1/2, 3/3 etc. from there. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not comp/rhet so I have a little bit of a different situation. I have no degree in my field and my school only takes PhD students so some of my colleagues have already been teaching. My FIRST semester, and every semester thereafter, I have taught one class, so I guess basically 1/1 in the vernacular. My classes are "sections" but basically I am the "professor" in front of the class. I develop my own material but I also follow the book (Spanish language textbook). I have between 15 - 30 students. Just this semester they promoted (?) me to teach an advanced level class in one massive jump (not "normal" according to the handbook), more stress just in time for my Master's exams. Teaching was a SHOCK at first but I feel a lot better now. I can't believe that some people on this thread are reporting 2/2 loads. Jeez, one class could very well be "full time" for me, except I also have coursework and a thesis to write. 

But I am learning A LOT.

Edited by xolo
malvados errores

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At Ole Miss, it's a 3/3 your first and third years (TA for large lit. survey, teach 3 discussion sections a week, 20 students each). 2nd and 4th years are freshman comp., a 1/1. Fifth year a lot of people get diss. fellowships, but if not you could either TA or teach comp.

 

At Cornell, it's fellowship 1st and 4th years. 2 and 5 it's a 1/1 freshman writing, 3 it's TAing, but only one section.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, piers_plowman said:

At Ole Miss, it's a 3/3 your first and third years (TA for large lit. survey, teach 3 discussion sections a week, 20 students each). 2nd and 4th years are freshman comp., a 1/1. Fifth year a lot of people get diss. fellowships, but if not you could either TA or teach comp.

I could be wrong, but when you're just leading weekly discussion sections (granted these discussion sections are all tied to the same lecture class), it doesn't really count as separate classes. So you wouldn't refer to that as 3/3--that implies three different classes that you design and teach entirely by yourself. 

 

At Cornell, it's fellowship 1st and 4th years. 2 and 5 it's a 1/1 freshman writing, 3 it's TAing, but only one section.

That sounds like the life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, xolo said:

I'm not comp/rhet so I have a little bit of a different situation. I have no degree in my field and my school only takes PhD students so some of my colleagues have already been teaching. My FIRST semester, and every semester thereafter, I have taught one class, so I guess basically 1/1 in the vernacular. My classes are "sections" but basically I am the "professor" in front of the class. I develop my own material but I also follow the book (Spanish language textbook). I have between 15 - 30 students. Just this semester they promoted (?) me to teach an advanced level class in one massive jump (not "normal" according to the handbook), more stress just in time for my Master's exams. Teaching was a SHOCK at first but I feel a lot better now. I can't believe that some people on this thread are reporting 2/2 loads. Jeez, one class could very well be "full time" for me, except I also have coursework and a thesis to write. 

But I am learning A LOT.

This semester is the last of my M.A. as I will graduate. I teach one class this semester, have one class, and have written an entire thesis this semester. Defended it last week. I had to manage time and did ok. Am a little behind in grading, but will catch up soon. I am one of the ones who will have a 2/2 schedule plus 9 hours both semesters, for the first year, as I still have some foreign language requirements to fulfill. I am taking loans out this first year and that also requires a minimum of 9 hours for fulltime.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think I could keep up with you. A thesis in one semester? wow! If your PhD program is anything like mine, your coming 2/2 plus 3 courses(?!) I guess is doable but do you also have a dissertation topic in mind? That would be the problem for me because in my program the next year, the second year of the PhD, requires an approved dissertation topic and also at the end of the second year qualifying exams. I would need a lot of time to prepare for those things (ie during the first year).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/21/2017 at 6:36 PM, Old Bill said:

1/1 means that you teach one section of a course in the fall, and one in the spring. 2/2 means that you teach two sections (or two courses) in the fall, and two in the spring. You can probably infer 2/1, 1/2, 3/3 etc. from there. :)

 

Ah ha! Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is really good information to know.  I will be attending DePaul's Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse program and will be working as a GA in the Writing Lab for 20 hours a week.   During my second year, I will have the opportunity to teach composition classes and work as a TA.  I have been working as an English teacher at two elementary schools in South Korea for almost 2 years.  I am looking forward to teaching adults and seeing the major differences between teaching adults and children.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At Indiana State, where I got my MA, we taught two classes per semester starting with the first semester. It was possible to subsequently opt out after that first semester and be a tutor instead, which is an option that some people took. For me, as someone who got a BA in English Education and who was coming off teaching middle school, I didn't find the adjustment particularly difficult, but some folks in my cohort did. My advice if you're nervous? Make good use of the resources. There are hella pedagogical resources both online and in books. Beyond that, to me, it's just a matter of practice.

Here at OSU, we do one class per semester (unless you're on fellowship, have an equivalent assistantship, etc). In every class I've taught at the college level, I've been the instructor of record except one. And though it requires more work, I much prefer to be the instructor of record. Being a discussion section leader was a very strange experience imo.

Fun (?) fact: I got paid less to teach two classes than I do to teach one class  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm also not comp/rhet, but in my department (and I think the other lang and lit depts at my university are the same) unless you got special funding or aren't a full-time student, everyone teaches a 1/1/1 load (we're on the quarter system). I received a recruitment award which basically meant one quarter as an RA, so I didn't have to start my MA teaching, but most of my cohort did. The TA opportunities in my department are mostly language teaching, so instructor-of-record for a 1-hour, 5 days a week language course. There's a language learning pedagogy course and a workshop specifically for language TAs in my department that are both required fall quarter for the new batch of TAs. You have an advising professor who largely sets the curriculum, text book, etc. and who checks in with you, but you're running the class, making the quizzes, doing the grading, etc. I didn't teach a language this year, so for my other two quarters I was a large-enrollment-TA, assisting a professor with courses around 80 - 90 students. I largely make sure the tech works and help with grading, possibly do guest lectures. The large enrollment TA work is much less intensive than the language teaching, though all Academic Student Employees at my university are capped at 20 hour work weeks (including prep and outside class labor - of course some weeks go over, but the cap is in our contracts - thank you unions!). My university also recently re-classed the salary grade for language teaching, so those positions get paid more, which is very nice, but our departments aren't getting any more money from the university to make up for the wage increase, so we'll have no large enrollment TAs next year, only language.

I was a little daunted at the prospect of teaching right out the gate (and am nervous about teaching a language class on my own next year), and like any new thing it's nerve-wracking, but everyone in my cohort seems to have handled it really well. And while I'd love to teach a literature class before I'm out on the job market, having solid language teaching experience at the university level is pretty great experience to have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.