I'm in the midst of planning my new classes at NHCC and as I'm reworking my Place and Community class for this particular group of students and their needs, so much is changing. Just on a personal level, it's a new place for me and that always shakes new creativity loose, both for my own writing and pedagogically.
This semester, I'm teaching and intro to lit (will post on that later) and two sections of NHCC's gateway composition course, which combines developmental writers with those who tested into Comp I--the format I'm not exactly sure of yet (I just got the job a few days ago), but I'm really excited for this new stretching of my teaching, both pedagogically and personally. I've wanted the chance to work with first generation and low income students since teaching in the Thompson Scholars learning community at Nebraska--and so I'm very, very excited about this. Since I don't know the parameters of the course yet, what the departmental requirements are, I'm formulating the basic class anyway and I think it's going to concentrate on this kind of scaffolding:
- Literacy narratives: where they come from (George Ella Lyons' poem), what they bring to the classroom (rather than the deficiencies they think they have), and what constitutes cultural literacy;
- Using Bonnie Stone Sunstein and Elizabeth Chiseri-Strater's textbook Fieldworking, we're going to research a community of their choosing. This will involve interviews and oral history work, as well as objective library types of research. I've always found that separating field research from library research is problematic.
- This research project will then expand into an advocacy project, working on the difference between arguing and advocacy, to formulate a plan that identifies stakeholders and proposes something that would benefit this community.
So, here's to new adventures in place-conscious pedagogy!