Tuesday, August 18, 2009
On Getting Oriented, Part 1 - The Numbers
by Emily May Anderson
So, after two days of orientation, I must say that I feel much more prepared to teach than I did last time I posted. I promise to come back and reflect more fully on the orientation process over the weekend (in other words, when the orientation process is complete), but for now, here is an overview of Penn State’s orientation for graduate instructors…
22 – MA/PhD track students in orientation
6 – MFA students in orientation
0 – difference in how we are treated
1 – section/course of freshman comp we will teach this first semester
24 – max number of students in the course we will be teaching
15 – hours spent in orientation over the first two days
22 – hours scheduled for orientation later this week
3 – books to be used in the class (a rhet comp text, a grammar manual, and a PSU-specific collection of student writing)
484 – pages in the instructor binder of helpful material
2 – types of syllabi provided to us (1 ready to give students, 1 fully annotated for instructors with suggestions for exercises, and references to the binder, etc.)
1 – full week of orientation
1 – credit hour class that will guide us through teaching this whole semester
4 – new students per “teaching mentor” (an upper level PhD student who’s been successful as a graduate instructor and will meet with us once every couple weeks and answer any questions we have)
Those are all the number I can come up with right now, but suffice it to say, that orientation is a LOT of information, but that the support/training we have as instructors is multi-layered and will be ongoing throughout the semester. It seems pretty comprehensive.
We got our keys, office assignments, and course schedules yesterday so I got to see where I’ll be teaching and where my office is. We grade our first sample papers tomorrow. Exciting stuff! Oh, and I'm teaching on MWF from 4:40-5:30pm, kind of an odd time frame, but we'll see how it goes, I guess.
Anyway, I’ll report back again after the week is over. My brain is a bit full right now. Hope everyone is having good luck with their preparations, moving, settling, orientations, classes, or wherever you are in the process!!!!