A graduate student should do the practicum
in an appropriate introductory course in his or her area of interest: Composition
(Eng 150), Literature (Eng 120/121), or Creative Writing (Eng 300). The student should
enroll in only one practicum over the course of the program of study. Practica in any
other courses must be approved in advance by the Graduate
Students are to attend every class
meeting and do all reading assignments of the undergraduate class for which
they are doing their practica.
Students will meet regularly with
the supervising professor to discuss course design, course assignments,
activities and other issues relevant to the execution of the class.
Students will not be responsible for syllabus design or any other major
With the supervision, input and
approval of the supervising professor, students may lead a short activity,
give a short lecture, or lead a short guided discussion during
approximately three classes. At no point will the student be
responsible for an entire class period.
Students are welcome to look at
completed course assignments and to discuss and review the processes of
grading with the supervising professor. Practica students may comment on
undergraduate student work with the oversight of the supervising professor.
However, practica students will not be permitted to assign students'
Students will not be responsible for
performing secretarial duties for the course (e.g., routinely making
photocopies, filing non-course-related materials, scheduling professor's
appointments, running personal errands for the professor, and so forth).
Graduate Practicum Guidelines--Details
I. Teaching Portfolio
This portfolio is designed to be
a transportable and ongoing project, one you may revise and add to as you
continue to develop as a teacher. For this semester, it should include the
A.) A statement of your
For the purposes of sending this
with Ph.D. program or job applications, this should be no longer than one
single-spaced page. The statement should articulate the values and
assumptions you bring to the classroom. It might discuss how you envision
the role of teacher and of students,
as well as the kind of intellectual work you hope students
will do. It might include specific examples of texts, assignments,
activities, or projects you use (or would likely use) in a course. Since
this is an articulation of yourself as teacher presently, you might also
use this now to name goals for yourself in the classroom. You will
continue to tailor and revise this, of course, as you use it for different
B.) Assignment/Activity examples
and a brief explanation of each:
Here you describe the assignment
or activity and provide a reflection in which you contextualize it (both in
terms of the overall course and the particular unit in which you used it).
What are the aims of this project? How are those aims represented in
the language of the assignment? What does this assume about
"where students are" -- in the course and in their development as
writers/readers? You might also describe evaluating criteria (if
applicable), and assess its outcome.
How did students respond to the
assignment/activity? How did (or didn’t) students’
responses meet your expectations? What might you do differently next time?
C.) Classroom Record
**With the sponsoring faculty member,
you may decide whether to turn in your journal/process log or the
reflective essay. If you choose the latter, it will be important to
maintain some kind of record of the daily happenings in class.
1.) A journal or process log
The journal is a space for you to
record notes about your observations in class, as well as any questions or
ideas you have. You might use it to think toward your own teaching
philosophy, or to reflect on the “how” and “why” of
the course’s pedagogy. In other words, it is a place for you to take
your observations a step further, analyzing and re-thinking the events of
2.) Reflective Essay
This essay, built out of your
journal entries, might be approached in a number of ways. You might use it
to reflect on your overall experience in the course, highlighting those
moments or interactions that most influenced your thinking about teaching.
You might consider your role as
teacher” in the course, paying attention to how you have
changed—your assumptions, values, questions—over the course of
the term. You might use it engage in a “re-reading” of some
difficult or challenging moments during the semester, considering how your
understanding of “what happened” has changed since they
occurred. In the bibliography, there are examples provided of
“teacher research” or classroom narratives/representations,
which might be helpful in composing this piece.
D.) Sample letter (optional):
If you intend to apply to a Ph.D.
program or for a teaching job, you may want to draft an application letter
that addresses your values, assumptions and aims as a
teacher—probably in one paragraph.
II. Additional Requirements
A.) Monthly Practicum Meetings:
Each month, one of the
“sponsoring” faculty members will facilitate a practicum
meeting, which all graduate students are required to attend. This meeting
will be focused on some topic or reading, and will provide you an
opportunity to talk with each other about your experiences.
B.) Classroom Visits
To obtain a sense of a range of
pedagogical approaches and strategies, you are encouraged to visit at least
one other class during the semester.
Department of English
Phone: (402) 280-2822
Fax: (402) 280-2143
contact Jackie Masker, Senior Administrative Assistant, at 402.280.2822 or firstname.lastname@example.org