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Course Projects

Teaching Logs

A series of written entries focused on teaching. Your teaching log will be hosted in a shared folder in Google Drive. Develop new entries and add comments to peers' teaching logs (when prompted) by accessing the shared folder (must be logged in to your Google account). Due weekly throughout the semester.

Short Papers

Two short papers (~500 words each, one page, single-spaced) that present a brief, focused discussion of an issue raised in a class reading for that week. Include an epigraph from the reading at the beginning of the paper. The discussion should provide context from the reading while also establishing footing in the conversation (e.g., a reaction, a position with justification, an observation about methodology or methods, etc.). Finally, it should include at least one question, boldfaced, for the rest of the class to consider. Identify your question(s) as 1.) researchable, 2.) conceptual/clarifying, or 3.) other. Bring 11 copies of your short paper to class. Short papers are due to the designated dropbox in Canvas no later than the start of class. Staggered deadlines will be established in class via a sign-up sheet.

Lesson Plan/Doc Gallery

Develop a document (no more than two pages) that stands as a lesson plan, or that introduces an assignment, class activity, or aspect of a project. The document should include 1) an introduction, 2) a note about the class context and suggested timing in the semester, and 3) a list of at least three scholarly sources (e.g., articles, chapters, monographs, or websites; citations correctly formatted in APA or MLA) that orient the pedagogical considerations underpinning the lesson, assignment, activity, or project. A draft of the document is due in the Google Drive shared folder on Tuesday, November 3. The revised document, complete with items 1-3, should be uploaded to the FYWP Document Gallery no later than Tuesday, December 1 at the start of class. You will receive separate instructions by email for logging into the FYWP Blog and uploading the document.


Working in pairs, 1) observe each other's class, 2) write a brief, descriptive report in a common Google Doc, and 3) drawing on the descriptive reports, tease out two or three issues in dialogue based on what you noticed happening in the classes. Thus, the observation report will consist of three sections: Observation I (A observed B), Observation II (B observed A), and Dialogue. Peer observations should be scheduled during the weeks of September 28-October 2 or October 5-9. Observation sections I and II are due by October 20. The Dialogue section is due by October 27.

WRTG121 Materials

WRTG121 materials include a syllabus, schedule, and Project One assignment sheet for the Winter 2016 semester. Though materials may be subject to revisions before Wednesday, January 6, the collection should reflect careful planning and development. Include with the bundle of materials a reflective essay of approximately 3-4 pages that explains decisions you have made about WRTG121 and key insights from WRTG596 and from your first semester of teaching. Due to the Canvas dropbox before our scheduled conference the week of December 7-14.

Teaching Philosophy

Develop a philosophy statement that accounts for your approach to teaching writing. The statement must be between 600-750 words. It should introduce and briefly explain carefully selected principles, values, or priorities, and it should contextualize each of these with tangible examples. A Prepare a draft of the document for peer and instructor feedback by Tuesday, November 17. Submit the revised version to the Canvas dropbox no later than Tuesday, December 8, at 3:30 p.m. EDT.


Contact Information

Derek N. Mueller, PhD
Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Writing
Director of Composition
Department of English
Virginia Tech
Office: 315 Shanks Hall
Spring 2020 Office Hours: T, 12-3
Phone: +1-734-985-0485

"It is our job as writers to create a context in which we can write, and it is our job as teachers of writing to create a context that is as appropriate for writing as the gym is for basketball" (228). Donald Murray, "First Silence, Then Paper," Fforum: Essays on Theory and Practice in the Teaching of Writing

"[W]hat we teach our students is a consequence of what we understand writing to be" (215). Mary Lou Odom, Michael Bernard-Donals, and Stephanie Kerschbaum, "Enacting Theory: The Practicum as the Site of Invention," Don't Call It That: The Composition Practicum

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