So, I've been crazy delinquent about posting to this blog, but that will change now that I'm using blogging as part of my ENGL 101 class. The idea is to have all of us spend a few minutes each and every class writing about anything, without any worries about topic, grammar, format, or any of that stuff. Hopefully, this will get me in the habit of posting to this blog about general life stuff rather than pseudo-academic blathering strictly about peace-related stuff only. In other words, rhetorician, heal thyself!
Okay, so I'm using the class-covenant thing as I did last semester. It was fascinating to see what this group came up with. In some ways, the spirit of the covenant is similar to the one my 103 class came up with last semester, but it's also different. Most interestingly, the class covenant calls for the course to be both "flexible" and "structured." Hmmmm....kind of a tall order, but I think we can pull it off. And even if we don't the attempt by itself should be intersting.
Anyhow, here's the covenant we've come up with:
Class Covenant for ENGL 101-02, Spring Semester, 2010
We, the members of ENGL 101-02 (both students and instructor) want this class to be excellent. We have identified the following traits as the most important qualities of a great class: it is fun, it involves hands-on learning, it is organized and structured, yet, it should also be flexible, and should be creative.
We commit ourselves to doing our best to make these qualities part of this class. To do this, we’ve identified things each member of the class can do to help us achieve our goal. We have also identified ways we’ll know if we are meeting this goal.
To make sure the class is fun, we believe that individual students should be outgoing with each other, have a positive attitude, participate in discussions, be energetic, and help one another. We believe the instructor should have a positive attitude, relate to students, create activities that add energy to the class, and do fun things (like not talking the whole time). We believe the class as a whole should treat each other with respect, actively participate in class, accept differences among people in class, work together, voice our opinions, and actively get to know each other.
If the class succeeds in this, we will be able to tell because people will come to class regularly with a good attitude and be involved in learning.
To make sure the class is hands-on, we believe that individual students should participate, stay involved and actively engaged in what’s going on, and offer help to other students. We believe the instructor should take initiative, give assignments that don’t just involve writing, work one-on-one with students as much as possible, offer helpful feedback, makes sure students understand course content
If the class succeeds in this, we will be able to tell because students will know the material, the class atmosphere will be positive, students will do well on assignments, everyone will participate, people will be interacting, and everyone will feel there’s an objective in the class.
To make sure the class is organized and structured, we believe that individual students should get assignments done on a regular basis, follow the writing “commandments,” set specific personal goals, stay involved, help others, always have needed materials, keep a schedule, stay organized, and stay on task. We believe the instructor should have an itinerary for each class, be ready to teach what this particular group of students needs to know, encourage students, give due dates for students who would like them, and stay committed to his unique style of teaching. We believe the class as a whole treat each other with respect, get involved in their own learning, pay attention, and come prepared for each day’s class.
If we succeed in this, we will be able to tell because students will get assignments completed, everyone will be involved in what’s going on in class, people in class feel motivated, there is a lack of stress in the classroom, and a minimum of chaos.
To make sure the class is flexible, we believe that individual students should have open minds, accept constructive criticism from others, do multiple tasks, work under a variety of conditions, and be open to the opinions of others. We believe the instructor should follow his own guidelines, extend due dates when necessary, be forgiving, work with students individually, and be willing to work with students on their own time in addition to in class. up with creative activities and put students outside their comfort zone. We believe the class as a whole should be active in class discussions.
If the class succeeds in this, we will be able to tell because the class will go smoothly, students will be skilled in writing by the end of the semester, people will have positive attitudes, people will work on their own, and be able to work in tough situations.
To make sure the class is creative, we believe that individual students should use their imagination in their writing, think outside the box, have open minds, use critical thinking, have fun with assignments, and try things outside their comfort zone. We believe the instructor should change the routine of class, come up with creative assignments, use PowerPoints, teach to a variety of learning styles, be open-minded, give constructive criticism, and find ways to get students’ minds going. We believe the class as a whole should think of creative ways to help others understand, brainstorm ideas together, give input to instructor and each other, give each other constructive criticism, and actively try to come up with creative ideas.
If the class succeeds in this, we will be able to tell because students will have a plethora of ideas for papers, class will be interesting, students will become overachievers, each day in class will be different, people will accept criticism, we will come up with original ideas, and people will actually have fun when writing their papers.