The I in Syllabi

I’ve spent much of the last couple of days working on my syllabus for my English 102–First Year Writing–course. As I so often do, I chose to work with a new textbook this semester which means I am basically starting from scratch. OK, not exactly from scratch: I have an assignment sequence I like to use in this class, and it’s one I’ve been tweaking for several years now. I really like the assignments and the work they engage students in throughout the semester, but once again I am having to figure out how best to work with a new textbook.

I know. Woe is me. If I were one of those folks who can use the same book and assignments for semesters on end, I wouldn’t have this work to do. But after about 3 semesters with a textbook for a first year writing course–even a really good textbook–I get bored and want to try something new. I figure if I am bored, my courses will be boring. If I’m not excited by or interested in the material, I can’t expect my students to be.

So here I am writing about working on my syllabus rather than actually working on it. I have the first 6 weeks and the last 3 weeks mapped out, but I can’t seem to figure out the remaining 6 weeks. I know the thing won’t write itself, so I best get back to it. I have another course to map out, an annual review/renewal to do, several letters of rec, and promotion letter to write. I know, woe is me . . .

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