Professional Development Opportunities
The General Education English office offers a wide variety of professional development opportunities. Please watch your university email and English Department social media channels for updates.
General Education Curriculum Meetings
Before the start of each fall and spring semester, the General Education English Department gathers for a mini-conference in which we attend faculty-wide workshops (often led by either the Co-Directors of Gen. Ed. English or a guest speaker). We also include breakout sessions where Gen. Ed. English faculty members provide workshops on various topics. The curriculum meetings give an enthusiastic jumpstart to the semester as we gather together to share best practices for our students. Stay tuned for the next CFP!
Chat 'N Chews
Chat ‘N Chews are periodic lunches where faculty members can gather with colleagues to discuss their classes. Faculty members provide the meals, so this is a great time to enjoy the culinary and pedagogical expertise of our Gen. Ed. English faculty members. If time is of the essence, feel free to eat and run. We can’t wait to chat and chew with you!
Professional Development Workshops
General Education English also offers professional development workshops throughout the semester. Past workshops have addressed professionalization, grading/feedback, and assignment scaffolding. Interested in leading a workshop? Contact the General Education English office for more details.
Additionally, MTSU's Learning, Teaching, and Innovative Technologies Center offers a variety of pedagogy focused workshops throughout the semester. These workshops, which are open to all faculty members regardless of deparment specialty, focus on a variety of multidisciplinary topics, such as accessibility, using secondary sources, and approaches to using technology in the classroom.
Peck Research on Writing Symposium
Held each spring (and generously funded by the Virginia Peck Committee), the Peck Research on Writing Symposium is a one-day mini conference where an invited composition scholar provides a keynote lecture about their research and facilitates a workshop on its pedagogical applications.
The Peck Research on Writing Symposium has two purposes:
- to engage writing faculty from area universities and secondary schools in considering timely issues in the research and teaching of writing, and
- to bring together members of the WPA Midsouth affiliate of the Council of Writing Program Administrators for our annual meeting.
Past speakers for the Peck Research on Writing Symposium include Paul Kai Matsuda, Andrea Lunsford, Cheryl Ball, Elizabeth Wardle, Derek Mueller, and Christine Tardy.
You can find additional information about the Peck Research on Writing Symposium, including information about Dr. Christine Tulley, this year's speaker, on the official webpage.
Celebration of Student Writing
Hosted by General Education English, this writing showcase displays the exciting work happening in English classes to the wider university community. The Celebration of Student Writing includes a wide variety of student writing, from projects developed in first-year writing and sophomore literature classes to academic and creative compositions completed by advanced English students. English 1020 instructors in particular are encouraged to invite students to create research poster presentations for this event as a way to share their research with an audience outside of the classroom.
Limited space is also available for readings/screenings/performances—and these need not necessarily be from spring classes; if you have a student who submitted stellar work during Fall 2017, nominating that individual to read that work is an excellent form of recognition. And finally, one way to encourage your students to participate in this event is to allow them to present at the Celebration of Student Writing in lieu of taking a Final Exam.
Putting yourself up for awards is an invaluable way to develop your professional identity and build your CV to impress future employers. It's also a great way to simply get recognized for the wonderful work you do (and many come with monetary prizes!). You can find more information about available awards here, as well as information about many awards you can nominate your students for, so they too can be recognized for their acccomplishments. The John N. McDaniel Excellence in Teaching Award, the William R. Wolfe Graduate Writing Award, and the General Education English Writing Awards will be of particular interest to GTAs. Applying for these awards, even if you don't get selected, is a valuable time to develop materials like Teaching Philosophies that you'll eventually need on the job search, and nominating students for GEWA can have a huge impact on student writers. So put yourself (and your students' great work) out there!