Past & Current Faculty Mentors

Nari Kirk – English Faculty

Mentor Winter – Spring 2014

What I Did, Workshops Offered, & What I Got Out of the Experience

My focus was on reading--where to look for assigned texts, the problems with standard textbooks, how to talk about texts in the classroom, how to hold students accountable for reading, and the importance of modeling the scholarly life to students. During my mentorship, I hosted several events: my seminar called "The Legit Prof" examined how faculty can show students the learning lifestyle and where teachers can find great non-textbook readings; a workshop called "Meta-Conversations" addressed how to talk about readings in class; and "The Possible Dream" was a forum about how to get students to actually read assigned texts. The other mentor (Roberta Kowald) and I co-hosted a forum called "Dealing with Difference" that considered the broad meanings of "diversity," the importance of selecting diverse texts, and the role diversity can play in classroom conflicts.

In addition to serving OC's faculty community, what I most got out of the experience was a sense of collaboration. Having various opportunities to meet and email with a number of conscientious faculty heightened our camaraderie and developed us as dynamic teachers. I saw my role not as a superior but as a peer simply getting conversations started, and in our busy lives, it was a privilege to take an hour here and there to mingle my voice with others'. Thank you, Jess and fellow faculty, and best wishes to those who continue this program.

Nari's "Artifacts"

The Legit Prof