Talking About TYCA: Chair's Blog

Location: Washington

Monday, February 19, 2007

New York, here we come!

The next CCCC convention will be happening shortly in New York City. March 21-24 we will be meeting at the New York Hilton.

While you are making your plans, be sure to attend the sessions and events coordinated and presented by TYCA members. TYCA talks will be held Friday night and the TYCA breakfast will be held on Saturday morning. The searchable Cs program is up and running. Be sure to look for TYCA sessions and friends by looking through the program before you arrive.

See you all soon!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Register today for a TYCA conference

Two-Year College English Association regional conferences are coming soon! As you can see from the list below, there are numerous locations and themes from which to choose. I'll be attending three conferences this year, and I wish I could go to them all. I've met people who are enthusiastic, well informed, teacher-scholars at every conference I have attended. I learn about what is new in the field and how my colleagues are developing inventive responses to changes. I'll see long time friends and make new friends as well. I hope to see you there!

For specific information on registration, location, and speakers go to the TYCA National webpage.

TYCA Pacific Northwest Salem, Oregon
Oct. 13-14, "Mapping Diverse Literacies"

TYCA Northeast Providence, Rhode Island
Oct. 19-21, "The Terrible Twos: Defining and Resisting the Role of Two-Year Colleges in the Academy"

TYCA Midwest St. Charles, Missouri
Oct. 19-21, "Crossing Bridges: Encouraging Transitions and Transformations"

TYCA West Park City, Utah
Oct. 20-21 "New Literacies: Teaching Writing in the 21st Century"

TYCA Southwest Galveston, Texas
Oct. 26-28, "Message in a Bottle - or Berry or Palm or Pod: Composition in the New Millennium"

TYCA Southeast Jacksonville, Florida
Feb. 22-24, "Navigating the Uncharted Waters of Learning"

Monday, September 25, 2006

Diana Hacker TYCA Outstanding Programs in English Awards

You know excellent programs, and here is a chance to have them recognized.

The Diana Hacker TYCA Outstanding Programs in English awards are presented each March during the TYCA breakfast held at the 4Cs. The awards “honor two-year teachers and their colleges for exemplary programs that enhance students’ language learning, helping them to achieve their college, career, and personal goals.” Programs can be submitted in one of four categories, and you can even submit electronically via the TYCA Awards website.

Applicants must submit a completed submission form, a brief description of their program (60 words or fewer), and a narrative of the program (1,000 words or fewer). Submission materials must be postmarked, faxed, or submitted electronically by November 10, 2006.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to gain formal recognition, as well as the chance to share your best work by nominating those you know, or your own programs.

We thank publisher Bedford St. Martins, the longtime partner of Diana Hacker, for sponsoring the Diana Hacker TYCA Outstanding Programs Awards.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Guidelines for the Academic Preparation for English Faculty

The first article in the September TETYC is a reproduction of “Guidelines for the Academic Preparation of English Faculty at Two-Year Colleges.” First released in Spring of 2005, this document outlines the academic preparation necessary to work with students at a two-year college.

The document gives a clear rational for a different kind of preparation than graduate schools may have considered before. Two-year college faculty members are teacher-scholars. Their practice is informed by their scholarship and their classrooms inform their scholarship. This work provides both the opportunity and the requirement for deep work theory and pedagogy.

To highlight the "Guiding Principles" section of the document, “effective community college English teachers exhibit the following characteristics:

They are reflective teachers.

They center their classrooms on the student, not the teacher.

They are flexible, not only in their teaching approaches, but also in the different roles they are asked to play…

Because they respect their students as learners, they treat students with consideration.

They ground their lessons in research and theory, and they are able to teach theoretical concepts through practical applications.

They continue to grow and learn themselves so that they can model for their students ways of reading and writing successfully.”

The complete document provides an excellent outline of expectations for professional life at a community college.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Fall Quarter Begins!

Fall Quarter started today, and I am reminded why the two-year college is never boring. I have students ranging from age 16 to 60. Quite a few of the younger students have been home schooled and are now coming directly to college, never having been in a class with other students working on the same materials. Other younger students are participating in “running start,” a dual enrollment program.

At the other end of the age range, three of my students did not know they were coming to college until last Friday. They were suddenly laid off, so part of their severance package pays for tuition and books. Although they are in a completely unfamiliar environment, they came prepared to learn all they can.

As usual, there are students with children, students caring for siblings, students working full time jobs, and students who were told to go to school or get a job. There are students who know exactly what their goal is while at my college and have already planned where they want to get into graduate school.

They will all be in class together. It just doesn’t get more interesting.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Freshman Orientation

Since my school is on the quarter system, we will begin classes on Monday, September 18. That means that yesterday and today I have been involved with “Centralia College 101”, our orientation for new students.

Because community colleges frequently have students entering at more than one point in the year, finding a way to help new students feel a part of the campus community has always been problematic. At my campus we have a two day class that runs from 8:30 am to 3:00 each day. The time is spent with a major speaker, workshops and time with a smaller “team.” Faculty can participate in a number of ways, as team leaders or as presenters in workshops, for example. The decision to be involved is always difficult because it means I lose significant planning time, but once again, I am thrilled to be participating.

I am a paired with a continuing student, and together we meet with our “team” of about 15 students at four different points during the two day class. I’ve had a chance to get to know this small group in a way that is different from my classroom interactions. These connections with others in the group seem to be pivotal in helping students feel like they belong on campus, that they have people they know already on the first day, and that they have at least one on campus resource (me) who can help them with questions.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

September TETYC Now Available

The latest issue of Teaching English in the Two-Year College, (a fantastic journal I must say) is now winging its way through the mail. Those of you who are members of NCTE and TYCA national already know that your journal arrives four times each year, but did you know that you can also access the journal through the TETYC pages on the NCTE website?

TETYC editor Jeff Sommers shares his passion for two-year college faculty sharing their knowledge with each other in his opening editorial. He writes,” I remain convinced that good teachers open the doors to their classrooms to welcome in other teachers and to share what the have learned….. TETYC has served me as a trusted resource for thinking about and thinking through my teaching, and, for the next five years, I am committed to making sure that it continues to do so for all its readers. I encourage you to open the door to your classroom by contributing to our ongoing conversation. My job is to hold those doors open.”

Submission guidelines are located just inside the front cover on each issue of TETYC, and you can also read them online here.