The Composition Instructor's Survival Guide

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Boynton/Cook Publishers, 1999 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 138 pages
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The Composition Instructor's Survival Guide is written for the most overlooked segment of today's English departments: the more than forty thousand instructors who do the actual composition teaching, most of them for low pay, no benefits, no hope of tenure. It is the first book to speak for this largely silent group - to voice the anger composition instructors feel at their treatment, to articulate the reasons why composition courses and teachers deserve more respect, and, most important, to enumerate what composition instructors can do to make their jobs easier and more pleasurable.

In this book, twenty-three-year-veteran Brock Dethier addresses some of the dilemmas composition instructors confront: How can we respect ourselves and what we do in the face of scorn, even from our English department colleagues? How can we keep our eyes focused on the intrinsic rewards of our jobs when the tangible benefits elude us? How can we appreciate the advantages of being invisible yet struggle for recognition? How can we reduce the time, stress, and responsibilities of our jobs, but still provide students with worthwhile college experiences? How can we rise above the daily traumas of the job to remember that it's fun?

The first few chapters describe long-range, broad, often intangible goals instructors can work toward: building respect, learning to appreciate the intrinsic benefits of the job. The subsequent chapters are more specific and practical, with suggestions on dealing with common frustrations and creating a great class, even when all plans go awry.

Readers may come away from the book with ideas about new careers or about creating change in their present jobs, but they will almost certainly gain a greater appreciation for and sense of satisfaction from their work. Dethier provides moral, theoretical, practical, and bibliographical resources for beginning and experienced teachers; the last chapter alone outlines a dozen class activities that require little or no preparation, but are certain to educate and entertain.

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Review: The Composition Instructor's Survival Guide

User Review  - Grace - Goodreads

I almost cried after reading the intro. Even though I'm just beginning my career as a composition instructor, I can already relate to so much in the book. Read full review

Contents

Build Respect
1
Recognize What We Get from Our Jobs
18
Appreciate Being OffTrack
41
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

BROCK DETHIER has been using music to teach English for twenty years. Currently an assistant professor at Utah State University, he lives with his wife and two children in Cache Valley, Utah. His previous Heinemann book, The Composition Instructor's Survival Guide, has helped writing teachers across the country worry less and enjoy their work more.

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