Rice University

Department of English

Mentored Teaching Program

The Mentored Teaching Program is designed to provide support and resources for graduate student teaching at all stages of the program. Student move from teaching under direct faculty supervision to designing and teaching independent classes. Discussions on pedagogy are integrated into the curriculum at key moments.

While the department requires that students teach only one independent course, students can take advantage of competitive  teaching opportunities inside and outside the department (extradepartmental opportunities are noted below in italics). By the time of graduation, most students will have served as the instructor of record for 3-4 courses.

 

Year 1

Students serve as Research Assistants (R.A.s) to faculty both semesters. R.A ships are governed by the document, "R.A. Rights and Responsibilities." Issues on the place of pedagogy in the university are addressed in English 600 and 610.
Students are eligible to serve as tutors in the Program in Writing and Communication (PWC). This is independent of the English department, although they employ many of our students. The PWC trains all of its tutors, T.A.s, and teachers (see below).


Year 2

Students serve as Teaching Assistants (T.A.s) for undergrad courses (one each semester) T.A.ships are governed by a contractual document, "T.A. Rights and Responsibilities" which frames the TA experience as a learning experience for the student, and not, primarily as a grader for the faculty. T.A. supervisors are requires to fill out an evaluation at the end of the semester; this goes into the student file and becomes part of the decision-making process about future competitive teaching opportunities. We also ask for special T.A. evaluations from the students. After a review of the evaluations, the graduate committee can require more supervised (T.A.) experience before the student can move on to independent teaching.

Students are eligible to T.A. for the PWC first-year seminar (FWIS) classes.

Year 3

Students enroll in a 3-credit course, ENGL pedagogy course taught by the department
510, "Pedagogy," designed to prepare them for independent teaching.

Students are eligible to T.A. for the PWC first-year seminar (FWIS) classes.


Year 4

Students teach an independent departmental course, usually ENGL 175, "Global Literatures in English." Students have also taught "Literature and Medicine" and "Introduction to American Literature."

A Faculty Teaching Mentor visits classes, provides feedback, and takes notes for a possible future teaching letter.

Students are eligible to T.A. for the PWC first-year seminar (FWIS) classes.


Year 5

No department teaching or research obligations

Depending on availability, the department may offer competitive co-teaching or replacement teaching opportunities.

Students are eligible to teach independent FWIS courses for the PWC. These are first-year topical communication-intensive seminars; students and faculty propose courses in the spring for the following year. The PWC provides required training for graduate stunts in the form of a week-long late summer workshop.

Students can also apply for teaching opportunities through the Humanities Research Center (HRC)

Students can apply for (very limited) independent summer school teaching through the department. They submit a formal application to the Graduate Committee.


Year 6

Depending on availability, the department may offer competitive co-teaching or replacement teaching opportunities.

Students are eligible to teach independent FWIS courses for the PWC. These are first-year topical communication-intensive seminars; students and faculty propose courses in the spring for the following year. The PWC provides required training for graduate stunts in the form of a week-long late summer workshop.


Students can also apply for teaching opportunities through the Humanities Research Center (HRC)

The PWC also offers competitive postdoctoral fellowships for those who their degrees by the end of the spring semester.