Our Teaching Package
We're understandably proud of our teaching assistantships and know of no other creative writing program able to offer as complete and varied a teaching package to its graduate students. Our aid is typically for three years, during which time our associate instructors (A.I.s) normally teach seven or eight courses (two to three annually), with a minimum of five creative writing workshops in fiction and/or poetry at the 100- and 200-level. A.I.s also have the opportunity of teaching a course in literary editing and publishing, as well as working in undergraduate literature courses and in the related area of new teacher training.
A typical three-year teaching assignment is as follows. During the first year, the A.I. normally teaches two sections of introductory creative writing: one section during the fall semester, and one during the spring. In the second year, the A.I. teaches a section of 100-level freshman composition during the fall semester, and either two sections of composition or a section of a composition and a 200-level creative writing workshop during the spring. In the third year, the A.I. normally teaches two or three creative writing courses. All third-year A.I.s are eligible to request an assignment to one of several 100-, 200-, or 300-level literature courses, or to serve as a consultant to first-year A.I.s teaching the fall semester sections of our introductory creative writing course. More than half of our third-year A.I.s are awarded reduced teaching loads. The M.F.A. program has also developed a 200-level course in publishing and editing, Literary Editing and Publishing, for our third-year creative writing A.I.s to teach.
In support of the above, our A.I.s take part in a week-long practicum in the teaching of creative writing prior to the start of the fall semester of their first year. During their first fall semester they enroll in a graduate course in creative writing pedagogy, W554: Teaching Creative Writing. During their second year they enroll in a second pedagogy course, W501: The Teaching of Composition in College. In addition, throughout their three years of teaching creative writing, they work with our Director of Creative Writing Pedagogy, who helps them plan and teach their courses.