Review of the Job Search Questions

In preparation for my last interview, which did not go well unfortunately, I took their questions, wrote up my answers, and included things I thought I might be able to bring up to brag on without too much trouble.

I think next time my preparation will include getting dressed up and sitting in an office chair, instead of being in shorts cross-legged on the couch. Perhaps I would have given better answers to the questions they actually asked then.

My Preparation

What do you think is the work load of a cc teacher?
5/5 course load,
office hours –particularly with student conferences
involvement with student activities
involvement with committees,
presenting,
publishing

bw-stud-writingWhat is the most fun thing for you about teaching writing?
Finding new ways to present material
seeing the students “get” it, and their writing improve

What would be the most important thing in a paper?
Having an idea and presenting it well.

How do you feel about developmental studies?
I approve of developmental studies. If students want to come to college and don’t have the requisite English skills, these courses can help them develop them.
I went to get my PhD in rhetoric and composition in order to better advocate for developmental students.

dali-headDiscuss a writing prompt you use and tell why you think it is effective.
Descriptive paper:
Start with passing out art cards. Have students write a description, without using artist’s name or the title of the work.
Take both the cards and the descriptions up.
Put all the art cards, which include similar scenes, on a table.
Pass the descriptions out to the class. Have them come up and find the card the other student wrote about.
This points out the need to be very detailed.
Then we go through some riddles. Modern, old, and ancient.
Students work in groups on the ancient riddles.
I have them choose something important to them and write a riddle about it.
The rules are that the answer can’t be guessed too quickly, but that by the end people must know what the object is.
Then I have them write about the object, including why it was important to them, why they chose it, and describing it.

What uniqueness can you bring to the college?
I have a rhetoric and composition degree, so teaching writing is a priority for me. I have taught writing classes designed for freshman all the way through graduate students. Those courses include business writing, advanced composition, sophomore writing in the behavioral sciences, both freshman courses and 0306 and 0307. Because of that, I know not only what my students need to be writing, but how to prepare them for what they may be going to write later.

I also would bring a variety of experiences.

I have taught college English at two SLACs (small liberal arts colleges)- one inner city and one small town, one of the Big Ten, two community colleges of very different populations, and one small public university.

In addition to that, I have taught a remarkable variety of subjects in some wildly different settings. I was the main teacher in a one-room schoolhouse. I have taught middle school classes on history and creative writing. I have taught high school history, biology, and English. I have homeschooled two sons to college.

william-shakespeareI have multiple research interests. These range from Shakespeare’s romances, through digital literacy, and to the clinical accuracy of Gilman’s description of mental illness in “The Yellow Wallpaper.” I did a research project on the rhetorical analysis of pre-convention news coverage by FoxNews.com and am working on the Old English poem Judith- I’ve done one presentation on that, am working on a second, and I am working on pulling the two together into one article on the sources of Judith and the poem’s status in the Old English canon.

I have presented at the Computers and Writing conference, both online and in person, on using students’ culture to integrate them into our high tech classrooms. I also presented at TYCA- southwest on the issues of low socioeconomic students in heavy technology courses. And I presented one of the two State of the Profession talks at CCTE in March on technology in the classroom. I have submitted an article to CEA Forum, the online praxis-oriented journal, on incorporating digital literacy into the composition classroom.

I am presenting on science fiction and fantasy literature at two conferences in the fall and am working on a journal article based on a presentation I did in February on the uncovering of false religion in popular science fiction. And I am presenting at MLA on generational diversity (blog, peer editing of narrative, interview assignment) and sexual trauma in the classroom.

Kudos from other chairs
The chair of my department once said, in an offhand way, that she thought of me as a literature teacher. Having primarily taught composition for her, I was a bit concerned. When I went back and asked her what that meant, if there was something in my composition teaching that needed to change, she said, “Yes, I remember that. I think of you as a literature teacher because I feel confident that you could take on any of the literature classes I needed and do a good job. I don’t feel that way about everyone. And you stepped in to take the miniterm Brit lit class and did a great job.” She also said there wasn’t anything she felt was negative about my writing class teaching. So, whew!

Feb 2008
One of my chairs said that the Dean was glad to have “a teacher like me.” I assume the chair is too.

The other chair said that while she is supportive of my job search, she hopes I will be there in the fall. She has already penciled me in for the slots I have typically requested.

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