As TEP’s new director, I’m fortunate to inherit a professional, positive program that meets teachers of every rank and discipline with interest and care. Last year, TEP’s four staffers led more than 300 consultations with faculty and GTFs, observed about a 100 classes across the curriculum, hosted two weeks of new teacher trainings before classes started, and led or co-sponsored more than 30 workshops on everything from leading class discussion, to making our research visible in the classroom, to dealing with high-impact teaching dilemmas.
This year, TEP’s 25th, I’ll take a listening tour of our campus, meeting with faculty and student constituencies to get a fuller picture of our teaching culture; the issues, new and perennial, that concern us; the practices that work with our students; and the ways TEP can best connect us to each other and to national and scholarly conversations about teaching and learning.
I hope TEPList readers will respond to the survey linked to this newsletter: it asks how you prefer to hear from TEP and what issues you’d like us to help the campus address. I look forward to your ideas, which will help us ensure that TEP is knitted tightly to the evolving needs and interests of our community.
New in TEP
We’ve just launched an Early Career Seminar: a small, supportive group of assistant professors and instructors who meet to discuss our classes and arguments about, and theoretical bases for, good teaching. We’re planning monthly breakfast roundtables on topics like “flipping the classroom” and, with UO teaching award winners, finding pleasure in and continuing to experiment with our teaching over time.
And we’re looking ahead to a cluster of campus-wide events that talk about teaching the undergraduate writer and researcher: we’re beginning to help organize programs on academic integrity, working with international students, and strategically infusing writing and research into general education courses. We’ll invite you to these events as they get closer, and I hope you’ll be in touch if you’d like to help shape their planning.
In addition to directing TEP, I’m a new member of UO’s English department, where I teach modern fiction, writing, and theories of literacy. After completing my PhD on homefront modernism at the University of Texas at Austin, I became director of the Vassar College Writing Center. That center helped govern the College’s writing requirement and led faculty development and assessment activities surrounding writing. Most recently, I worked at the University of Exeter in the UK, where I taught literature and helped the University move toward American models of writing instruction and interdisciplinarity.
I hope you’ll enjoy TEP’s promotional materials this year—Special Collections and University Archives has helped us gather beautiful historical photos of UO teachers, students, and classrooms. It’s been a pleasure for me to look through these snapshots of years of UO teaching even as I meet the faculty members and GTFs who carry that legacy forward.