Journal Entries

Entry 1: HSU and me.


Entry 2: Models, materials,   

and methods of teaching. 


Entry 3: MATW program 

Entry 1: 8/27/07

What is my primary motive for entering into graduate studies at HSU?

 My primary goal for being a part of the MATW program at HSU is to become a junior college writing instructor. I chose HSU because of the internship and possible GTA experience. Other universities may offer internship programs, actually, more than likely they do; however, HSU seemed a good fit. For one, it’s affordable. I wanted to be able to go back to school full-time without having to hold down a steady job at the same time. I knew that I’d never be able to succeed in a MA program while teaching full-time. Secondly, I love this area; its remoteness is conducive to studying.
I hope to stay on track and complete my MATW in two years. The upside of already having begun the program once before, six years ago, is that now I have personal experience to draw on both inside the classroom and out that I know will help guide me through the program.
    I can’t say for certain whether or not I’ll teach at the junior college level; it all depends on the stability of the jobs. I love the middle school level but I am also ready for a more challenging experience and I do feel like HSU will provide me with the platform from which I can jump off into the unknowns of higher education.  


Entry 2: 9/3/07 Response to Pope pg. 29 1.5    


Models, materials, and methods of teaching English all depend on the type of English class, its focus, the teacher, the students, and the level. If it’s a writing course, the teacher will likely choose to model her teaching after a formulaic approach (K-12) or a more holistic method to teaching writing (college level).
    Since I’ve been in school, the methods have changed a little, as has the focus. Grammar finally seems to be making a comeback for one and there is also this idea that a student must recognize the context the work is written in as well as the way she is changing the meaning of the work through her own judgments and experience.
    English is branching out these days, covering a broader subject area than simply the one under its heading. English is in many ways connected with every other subject. A push toward an interdisciplinary approach to teaching will give students a more well rounded view of education and its importance.

Entry 3: 9/13/07 Pope Activity 1.7 pg. 48    


Being new to the MATW program, I see the teaching of writing falling under the “English Writing, Speaking, and Presentation (for academic, business, and other purposes). Because, as we discussed briefly in class, our degree will allow is to teach college aged students how to write. And if we are likely teaching in a community college setting, our students will be going out into the workforce with the intention of working in a variety of arenas, be it business, politics, science, or psychology. No matter what our students do for a living, they will more than likely have to write.
    I see the emphasis of our program being on the writing process. How do we, as soon to be teachers, engage our students in the act of writing? How do we make writing important to them and what is the best and most expedient way to turn non-writers into effective writers? A lot of emphasis is placed on theory and pedagogy and the application of each in the classroom. I am very much interested in learning a variety of different approaches, in studying conflicting pedagogical practices, and in forming my own approach based on my readings and experience.
    I already feel I am capable of being a part of the classroom not only as a teacher but also as a learner. What I hope to get out of this program is a better understanding of how to tap into my students’ motivations and abilities.
    It’s obvious that there is an ever-changing formula to follow in the teaching of writing. Not to say there is only one approach to embody at any given time but a multitude of opinions and studies that one must wade through in order to come out on the other side with some sort of understanding a bias.
    Our program is very career oriented, however, upon graduating we will be faced with a lack of full-time positions. If we want to teach junior college, it will be a long a laborious road, unless, of course, we don’t mind teaching part-time and without benefits.
    I would like to know how much longer a program like the MATW can exist without the availability of jobs we are qualified for. If the program is going to maintain its career building status, it should look into other areas of academia that need filling. I have heard, for instance, that reading teachers are in demand. Why not offer a reading certificate on top of the MATW if it would help future graduates land a teaching position. Perhaps there are other areas of study that could benefit us if we did a bit of overlapping. In this day and age, as studies become more interdisciplinary and jobs more scarce, universities need to push students to develop an assortment of skills and to provide them with training when possible.
    My perspective is different than most in that I know I will teach. If I can’t land a job at the college level, I will teach junior high or high school but I will continue to teach. I love to teach, and I love the interaction and relationships that are created between the students and myself. Many students’ paths vary in the MATW program and depending on their goals, they will get something totally different out of the experience. I am affording myself more options in the education profession. Yes, I am a product of our capitalistic society and I am okay with that because I believe I can be an asset to the educational system as a teacher.