Fall 2015 Syllabus: Adolescent Literature

Now that the first week of the fall semester is in the books, I feel like I should be able to take a deep breath [inhale . . . exhale] and reset/recharge for the weeks to come. Yet in true paranoid-teacher fashion, I woke up at 6:00 on this Saturday morning thinking about all the things I needed to get done before Monday.

(Does that feeling ever go away? This is my eleventh year in the classroom, and if anything, I’m getting even MORE paranoid about being On The Ball at all times.)

As I was working this morning, I realized that I had yet to post the syllabus for each of my UWL courses here on the website. And while I don’t think very many people noticed, I like posting syllabi here for two reasons:

  1. When I’m assigned new courses and go hunting for teaching resources, the first thing I search for is a course syllabus. That way, I can get a general feel for how others have conceptualized similar materials/texts/assignments in their teaching before starting on my own work.
  2. I think teachers throughout K-16 education need to embrace a wider culture of resource sharing so that no one has to “fight the good fight” alone. And if I don’t practice what I preach, well, that’s just not good.

ENG 341 Syllabus Fall 2015 COVERSo for starters, I’m posting my syllabus for ENG 341: Adolescent Literature. [Click on the image at right to view the full document.] As you’ll see from the overview and assignments, this course is primarily designed for English Education majors/minors — but it’s open to any student with an ENG major or minor. (My current group of 17 students has, at last count, ten English Ed students; the other students are part of the department’s Literature and/or Rhetoric and Writing emphases.) And while I originally wanted students to read a TON of books, for various reasons the final list was trimmed down to seven. I’m probably biased, but I think books we’re reading this fall represent a damn-good selection of titles.

One disclaimer that I need to make: I don’t own the rights to many of these images, and I am fully aware that I need to be better about citing my image sources in a syllabus like this one. I fight this battle constantly while making image-heavy documents, and I know that I should stop listening every time that little voice in my head says, “It’s for educational purposes only! You don’t have the time to track down, verify, and then acknowledge the original source(s) on a syllabus.” (I know that voice is wrong, but it’s also very, very loud and very, very persistent. Especially during the final week of the summer when I just want to cross FINISH SYLLABUS??? off my pre-semester checklist.) LongĀ mea culpa short: If you see something that needs to be taken down, please contact me so that I can make the appropriate changes.

Any thoughts or feedback on the syllabus — positive, negative, noncommittal — are most welcome. And to everyone else out there teaching this fall, have a great semester!

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