Responsibilities

Current Instructors can find more information, policies, and resources in the Manual for Teachers, as well as the shared instructor Blackboard sites.

Teaching

Graduate Teaching Assistants in English teach twelve credit hours (four sections) per academic year. GTAs usually teach English 101 and 102, first year composition courses. After their first two years of employment, GTAs may request assignment to English 203 (Topics in Reading and Writing), 209 (Writing about Fiction), 210 (Writing about Poetry), and 211 (Writing about Plays) as the schedule permits. Creative writing GTAs are eligible to teach a creative writing workshops in their third year. PhD GTAs in literature, literary theory, and rhetoric and composition are eligible to teach one advanced course in their field during their GTA appointment.

Training

During their first year teaching in the Department, all new GTAs are required to attend a pre-semester orientation, to attend 3 meetings in the Fall to workshop assignments and daily work for each unit of 101, to take “English 801: Study and Teaching of Writing” (3 credit hours) in the Fall, and to take “English 802: Practicum in the Teaching of College English” (1 credit hour) in the Spring.

The Department sets the maximum size of classes that new teachers teach their first semester at 20. In their first semester, new teachers will work from a common syllabus and will have the opportunity to discuss writing assignments and best practices in English 801, as well as receiving guidance and feedback from the Teaching Mentor, an experienced teacher in the program. In the English 802 practicum, teachers will work from a common syllabus or have their syllabi approved by the instructor of this course prior to distributing them to students.

Professional Development

Staff Development Sessions

These sessions provide teachers with a forum for discussing assessment and standards with colleagues. These meetings may discuss grading criteria and examine graded papers, or they may focus on issues of assessment and improving course materials to achieve better student learning outcomes. Staff development seminars each year, as well as training in the first year of teaching at KU, help teachers understand the grading expectations in the FSE program.

Professional Development Opportunities

The FSE Program proudly hosts annual Visiting Scholars to deliver workshops and talks as a professional development opportunity for our instructors and the university at large. Some of our recent visiting scholars include:

Anis Bawarshi, University of Washington [pdf]

  • “Genre, Transfer, and Academic Writing”
  • “In Between Genres: Uptake, Memory, and Rhetorics of Israel-Palestine”

Anne Curzan, University of Michigan [pdf]

  • “Navigating ‘Error’: Usage Questions in the Writing Classroom”
  • “Going Grammando: A Linguist’s Look at Language Peeves”

Asao Inoue, University of Washington-Tacoma [pdf]

  • “A Conversation on Race and Writing Assessment”

Andrea Lunsford, Stanford University [pdf]

  • Author of FSE common textbook, Everyone’s An Author

Beverly Moss, The Ohio State University [pdf]

  • “Community-Based Research and Black Literate Lives in the Composition Classroom”

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