2009-2013 Five Years as English Instructor at Oakton Community College

Overview
Overview

It's been a great experience. And I haven't taught my last class at Oakton. There's nothing like being accountable to 25 or 50 or 75 young minds at a time to keep the mind young and fresh.

The right-hand column lists my course practices and innovations. (I seldom teach a course the same way twice.)  Items below describe steps I've taken to improve my teaching, evaluations of my teaching by others, and my involvement at Oakton outside of the classroom.

A memorable small Saturday morning English 101 class in 2009,
four unbelievable students

Narrative

Continuing Education Course
  • Landmark Education  My decision to take Landmark seminars came from a business owner with whom I regularly discuss my teaching. A dynamic individual, he had been  empowered by Landmark courses taken many years ago. My Landmark courses have empowered me and my students in several ways. I now relate more directly with students thanks to the emphasis these courses place on developing trust in self and others. I also set higher goals for my students, placing great emphasis on what a student actually learns from a research paper as opposed to what the student merely says correctly. Finally, Landmark has had the effect of freeing me up to teach in ways that blend entertainment and  intellectual challenge. My classes are more fun for me and for my students.
Best course I ever thought, Egl 102, summer 2013

Awards
  • Teaching with the Stars: finalist 2009
  • Oakton Excellence in Teaching Award: finalist, 2010 
Evaluations
  • 2009 - 2013 course evaluations by students (reviewed by the college) are available upon request, all kept in a single binder.
  • 2010 classroom evaluation by Chairman Woodbury: primary suggestions:
    • Organize the class so that all students are on task.
    • Avoid spending too much class time talking with a single student about his/her paper; other students are not listening.
  • 2009 - 2013 online evaluations by students
Work with Adjunct Faculty (2013)
  • Contract Reading Group
  • Adjunct faculty petition
  • Spoke at Board Meeting on behalf of faculty at risk of losing health insurance due to changes resulting from Obamacare.
Some classes just click. The all but teach themselves. This one did that. Fall 2012
Course Materials
Course Materials

For students in all classes
English 102, final class, Winter 2012

English 101 and 102: two short first-week diagnostic papers

The Spring 2011 English 102 class after it  balanced the federal budget in a semester-long project inspired by David Leonhart's interactive Fix the Budget exercise in the New York Times.

English 101

A lively Tuesday morning English 101 class, 2010

English 102

An 2012 English 101 Class at the Skokie Campus

English 117: Introduction to Poetry

English 129: Introduction to World Lit
Another Advanced Egl 102, Spring 2013
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