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This document is a work in progress.

The teaching portfolio must be 1-2 pages, grounded in composition theory and should include practical examples of how my philosophy is implemented.


Teaching Philosophy

Composition has historically sat as the terrifying gatekeeper of academia (Matsuda, 2006, p. 638). It “provided a continuing way to separate the unpredestined from those who belong […] by encouraging them to leave school, or more vaguely, by convincing large numbers of native speakers and otherwise accomplished citizens that they are ‘not good at English’,” (Matsuda, 2006, p. 638). This concept is horrifying to think about as an educator, and the core of my philosophy for teaching is to subvert that entirely. I strive to ensure that the barriers to entry are as low as they can go, to support students who may have difficulty engaging in traditional means by opening new avenues for engagement, and to clearly outline my expectations and how they can achieve them.

Artifact 1: Nearpod Integration introduces the main way I drive nontraditional student engagement. Nearpod’s signature feature is that it allows teachers to stream their slide decks to student devices live. This means that students who would otherwise need to be near the front of the room to see the projected slides no longer need to. From their laptop, phone, or tablet, they can see the slides as I click through them. Another significant usage of Nearpod is in Q&A. Instead of prompting students to raise their hands to ask questions, I can sidestep the issue of nervousness and anxiety by allowing students to anonymously submit their questions to me. This is through the “Open Ended Question” feature. It shows all of the questions on the screen without names attached and I can answer them as they come in. Related, is the Poll feature. Instead of asking students who didn’t start on an assignment yet to raise their hands, I can put out an anonymous poll, asking students the question and receiving a pie chart of the distribution of responses to the question. I think that these features and this methodology for leading a technology integrated classroom allows students who otherwise would not be asking questions or requesting help to have access to my time and help when they need it.

With my background in Engineering, I am very familiar with the Accrediation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) system for course content. The ABET sets out very clear expectations and learning outcomes for stuents. Adler-Kassner et al. write that organizations like ABET are “nearly upiquitous for good reasons: they make expectations for student learning more visible; they foster curricular connections and cohesiveness; and they offer productive possibilities for assessment,” (2015, p. 91). I try to establish expectations and guidelines for my students in much the same way. Every day of a given unit, I show that unit’s schedule - indicating where we’ve been and where we’re going. Artifact 2: Unit Schedule shows an abbreviated example of this, as the WP4 unit lasted only one week.