A while back, I opined about an assignment sequence I regret not offering when I was teaching college-level writing. At the time, I noted that there were reasons I was thinking about the assignment sequence again, but I declined to go into them; I can safely note now that I had been putting in for teaching positions in anticipation of my wife’s promotion and our relocation, one of which worked out, if not entirely expectedly. And, as it happens, some of the classes I am teaching–on-level high-school senior English, aimed at students not going straight into college–might actually lend themselves to something like that regretted-because-never-given assignment sequence.
I am tempted to try it, certainly, for all the reasons I noted earlier; it would be a coherent assignment sequence, and it would allow students practice in the kinds of workplace writing they are apt to encounter in the world outside college. (The job postings I still receive frequently call for high-school graduates and scads of report-writing, among others.) It would also be a different kind of engagement for the students, many of whom chafe at trudging through textbooks’ often-tepid literary selections and milquetoast interpretations of the same. (I don’t blame them, even if I am often frustrated by their intransigence.) And, yes, it would add to my portfolio, which, now that I am teaching again, would be a damned fine thing.
I am teaching in a Texas Hill Country town, and not a large one. (As I write this, Burnet’s still under 10,000 people.) And while not all the stereotypes of such places are true, a fair number of them are; I anticipate that I’d have a fair amount of resistance from some quarters–and their parents. Some folks have never gotten over the Satanic panic, for example, and my own predilections are not likely to help that…
If I retool–maybe not for this year, but possibly for next?–I could make it an option, certainly; as long as it’s an option and not a requirement, I think I can get some grace from my administration. (So far, they’ve treated me well, and I don’t want to abuse that.) But how much will be extended…that’s always a question, and I’ve been…spoken to…about things before.
I guess I’ll have to give it some more thought.