Greetings from Houston! My conference is full of meetings with amazing colleagues and inspiring sessions about all sorts of teaching and learning topics of interest to two-year college instructors. Right now I’m looking forward to session B.17: Basic Writing at Community Colleges: Redesigning Curriculum and Professional Development.
Colleagues with cool projects and ideas that are a good fit for the journal should stop by my Open Office Hours tomorrow, Friday, 4/8 12:30–3:15 pm:
Teaching English in the Two-Year College
Find me in Booth #108!
I am excited to announce the appointment of two great colleagues to the Teaching English in the Two-Year College editorial team. Mark Blaaw-Hara and Sheri Rysdam are joining the journal as review editors and will be collaborating with me during my term as editor of the journal.
Mark Blaauw-Hara is the Writing Program Coordinator and an English faculty member at North Central Michigan College in Petoskey, Michigan. He has taught a wide range of courses, including first-year composition, developmental writing, creative writing, literature, and film. His research interests include threshold concepts, transfer theory, developmental writing, student veterans, and writing in the disciplines. Mark’s work has appeared in Teaching English in the Two-Year College, The Community College Journal of Research and Practice,Community College Week, and The Writing Center Journal, as well as in the forthcoming edited collection, WPA Transitions. He has been a peer reviewer for TETYC for many years, as well as College English and the upcoming Journal of Veteran Studies. He currently serves on the Executive Board for the Council of Writing Program Administrators, and he has served on and chaired the CWPA Best Book Award committee.
Sheri Rysdam is Assistant Professor of Basic Composition at Utah Valley University. In addition to her scholarship on feedforward and other strategies for responding to student writing, her interests are in the rhetorics of political economy, issues of social class in the composition classroom, and women’s rights and advocacy. Her work has appeared most recently in Issues in Writing and the Journal for the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning. She also has chapters in Critical Expressivist Practices in the College Writing Classroom and Peer Pressure, Peer Power: Collaborative Peer Review and Response in the Writing Classroom.
If you haven’t already done so, read the fantastic piece published in the March 2016 issue of the journal, Christie Toth and Patrick Sullivan’s “Toward Local Teacher-Scholar Communities of Practice: Findings from a National TYCA Survey” which offers some fantastic insights and conclusions for two-year college English instructors and the field as a whole. I am looking forward to implementing some of their findings into my work as journal editor as I work toward my first official issue as editor, September 2016.
I am seeking a colleague to serve in the professional service role of book review editor for Teaching English in the Two-Year College. Historically, the book review editor has been responsible for coordinating the book review process for the journal. The responsibilities include coordinating with publishers to manage review copies (or request them), communicating with book review authors, and circulating review manuscripts for peer review prior to publication using Editorial Manager, the online review system that is used by TETYC.
The TETYC book review editor will work with me to plan review needs for the upcoming issues. Typically 2 to 4 books (sometimes other types of media or web-based resources) are featured in each issue, and the usual review process (submission, two to three reviewer reports, a revision stage, editing, then publication) applies to reviews.
As a professional service role, rewards to the review editor are entirely psychic, intellectual, and professional–the person in this role will be contributing to the professional dialogue on topics of interest to peers in the field and cultivating editorial and review skills that will serve as preparation for someone interested in moving to a journal editorship role in the future.
Duties may range from one to several hours per week, depending on the number of reviews in progress. Due to the magic of technology (and Skype), the person selected for the role will collaborate with me to learn Editorial Manager and to engage in ongoing publication planning. There is no specific term to be met.
If you are interested in serving in this role, please send a brief cover letter and curriculum vitae to email@example.com by March 15, 2016.
Instructional Note Guidelines
The “Instructional Note” has been a staple of Teaching English in the Two Year College for some time and serves the purpose of providing evidence-based, research-situated discussions of innovative teaching practices/approaches. Authors, readers, and reviewers should know the following about the Instructional Note and its conventions.
An excellent Instructional Note does the following:
- Establishes an exigency: A publishable Instructional note will identify a teaching problem to be addressed that requires some innovative strategy in order to reach the desired outcomes. What is the exigency for the project? What are the desired outcomes? On what basis does the author’s claim that this is an important teaching or learning problem rest?
- Situates the strategy in the context of the ongoing discussion: In other words, a literature review is expected, albeit not the full-fledged, thoroughgoing one that would be expected in a feature article. Strong notes will identify how their ideas reflect or challenge current disciplinary thinking about the teaching or learning questions being discussed. Effective instructional notes will also situate the author’s pedagogical ideas within local circumstances by describing the course, the curriculum, the campus, and the students to some extent.
- Presents the “how-to” of implementing the instructional strategy: The pedagogical approach is outlined in sufficient detail to reproduce in another instructor’s classroom. Further, as experienced instructors, readers know that no plans proceed without a hitch. What challenges can readers expect? What bumps in the road did the writer have to problem solve? How were they resolved, and if they weren’t, why not?
- Offers Clear Outcomes: Instructional Notes conclude by offering evidence of student outcomes either through a case study or two of student work, anecdotal evidence of what transpired, student reflections on their experiences, or other assessment measures appropriate to the activity; these should be used with permission from students or from the appropriate institutional review board.
Many readers of TETYC are most interested in learning about innovative practices from reflective practitioners; the Instructional Note’s purpose is to respond to that readerly interest.
A resource for readers, writers, and reviewers I am working on are transparent guidelines around the types of texts that we publish. You can find them here and soon, on the TETYC NCTE page:
Book Review Guidelines
Teaching English in the Two-Year College (TETYC) welcomes reviews of new and recently released scholarly books, textbooks, DVDs, websites, and other media of interest to teachers of English in two-year colleges.
Reviewers should make themselves familiar with published reviews in past issues of TETYC (as well as other publications). In general, a review should answer the questions below though not necessarily in the order they are here presented. When a reader is finished, she should have a good understanding of the issues suggested by these questions. Please note that these questions are meant as suggestions only—reviewers should use their best judgment. Not all questions need necessarily be addressed. Reviews should be limited to around 750 words.
- What is the work and what is it “about” (and what is its form, if not a single-authored book on a single topic)?
- Would you recommend this book to other teachers? To whom and why? To what degree?
- What does this work “do” in the field of current scholarship and publications? For example, does it break new ground, add to existing knowledge, change our understanding of a concept or theory?
- How does it do it? That is, is the work original research, narrative, case studies, a combination, or what?
- How is the work structured and what are the key points?
- What are the strengths of the work for English faculty in two-year colleges?
- What are the weaknesses?
Note: Occasionally, TETYC will publish special “Cross-Talk” reviews, mainly by invitation. These are of two types:
- Cross-Talk I: Two 750-1000 word reviews plus up to a 100-word response by author.
- Cross-Talk II: Two 750-word reviews, two 250-word responses by reviewers, one 750-word response by author.
The transition between outgoing editor Jeff Sommers and my own editorial term is well underway! All new submissions will now come to me as the editor of the journal with my first issue being September 2016.
The Editorial Manager system has been launched and TETYC authors can now submit their manuscripts to this electronic submission system. Some announcements about journal changes and needs:
New submission guidelines: I have updated the submission guidelines, which include continuation of some of the most enduring and useful features of the journal as well as two new types of pieces. Research articles are the staple of the journal and always welcome, along with “Instructional Notes” and “What Works for Me” pieces. However, I invite two new types of submissions:
Symposiums: These will be essays focused on topics of importance to two-year college English teachers. I invite proposals on issues that are of pressing disciplinary interest and that will offer diverse perspectives through co-authorship. For example, co-authors might identify existing or new policy briefs, position statements, or research reports that tackle professional issues and present related arguments about those texts. Topics of national interest might be dual credit/concurrent enrollment, language policy, open-admissions practices, developmental education, humanities/literature instruction in the two-year college, first-year writing placement methods, etc. Authors can submit using Editorial Manager and selecting the option “Symposium” under submission type.
Review Essays: I invite proposals for review essays, which will offer critical assessment of multiple books on a shared topic. Authors interested in this type of essay should submit a proposal to the Editorial Manager system, identifying the texts to be reviewed and a brief overview of review’s approach.
Additional reviewers: I am looking to expand the base of reviewers for the journal. If you are interested in participating in the work of the journal as a peer reviewer for TETYC, I invite you to submit a CV and a short introductory letter outlining your areas of interest and expertise. Those materials can be sent to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am very committed to a broad and diverse pool of reviewers who can reflect the similarly diverse readership of the journal.
Book review editor: The current book review editor, Annie del Principe, is stepping down and I am looking for a new review editor. I will be circulating more information about that position as I collect it and identify the most important needs for the role.
December 10, 2015
I am excited to begin my term as editor of Teaching English in the Two-Year College, building on a decade of leadership by Jeff Sommers, who has served NCTE, TYCA, and CCCC well in his role as editor. One of the major changes in the journal moving into my term is the shift to our electronic submission system, Editorial Manager, used by other NCTE-published journals.
Editorial Manager is a robust system for managing the publication process. Authors are able to submit their manuscripts for review to the site; reviewers can be assigned and access materials there as well. As editor, I will be using the system to facilitate the submission, review, revision, and acceptance stages of publication.
My editorship launches with a new set of submission guidelines and a couple of new features. You can review those here: TETYC Submission Guidelines
Second, in order to assist new and veteran reviewers with the process of reviewing manuscripts, I’ve created the document “Advice for Reviewers,’ which spells out each of the criteria by which manuscripts are evaluated, with guiding questions to consider as reviewers create their documents. I will suggest these are also helpful to authors who want to know what kinds of things their readers are looking for.
I’ll soon be developing a similar document, “Advice for Authors” as well as focusing on two parts of the process of managing a journal, not just logistically or philosophically but in terms of creating a community that supports the publication:
- Book Review Editor: Annie del Principe (Kingsborough CC) has done an incredible job serving as book review editor for the journal for the last few years. Since she is stepping out of this role, I will be looking for a new book review editor shortly. Watch for that call in this space and on the TETYC page.
- Editorial Board: In the coming year, I’ll be looking at how to make best use of the expertise of the journal’s editorial board–board involvement varies by journal, so those readers, reviewers, and authors who will be attending 4C in Houston next year will be invited to a discussion about how the Editorial Board for TETYC can best serve the journal’s mission.
Lastly, we’ll still communicate electronically through email. You can contact me at email@example.com.
I am looking forward to this new challenge!
Professor of English and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies