When Kimberly Broughton started her graduate work at Purdue’s Department of English in the year 2016, as all graduate students, she took a three-credit Teaching Practicum course for two semesters. This practicum provides training and mentoring to new instructors, including guidance for responding to student writing, creating classroom activities, and developing curriculum. Along with the faculty leading these mentor groups, ICaP also provides an Assistant Mentor who assists the Professor during classroom time as well as two Technology Mentors who introduce instructors to various approaches for technology-aided teaching.
Broughton’s mentor was Dr. Thomas Rickert, Professor of English, a long time mentor for ICaP. Broughton said, “Dr. Rickert’s guidance was extremely helpful and played a very large part in me successfully completing my first year of teaching at Purdue.”
“From shifting my understanding of what it means to write and compose, to challenging the educational institution’s method of assessing students, Dr. Rickert not only assisted me in creating a sense of freedom in pursuing higher education but also for my students,” Broughton recounts.
This is the third year of teaching English 106 for Broughton. In past, Broughton taught English 106-E, where she collaborated in teaching with instructors from Purdue Polytechnic’s Tech 120 and Com 114. She helped her students understand that they are in an “integrated” classroom. She also had to co-teach students along with her two instructors which according to her was “a different teaching experience.”
“I was particularly excited to teach English 106-E because of my personal interest in digital platforms such as blogging, developing websites, and other tech-based communication,” said Broughton.
Broughton explained, “My Fall 2017 semester was challenging but very rewarding for various reasons. I had to adjust to new curriculum along with other expectations of this syllabus approach. However, I was able to work with students of Purdue’s Polytechnic Institute and focus on digital means of composing and that was exciting.”
After teaching English 106-E, Broughton is now back to teaching English 106, where she is implementing a rhetorical theory and research focussed syllabus that covers: visual analysis, research and argument, and visual production.
Upon answering a query regarding impact of English 106 in student’s life as scholar, Broughton said, “English 106 develops a solid foundation of critical thinking skills that will be conducive to the remainder of students’ trajectory at Purdue and helps students improve their writing skills and allows them to write by taking into consideration rhetorical factors and situations such as audience, diction, and context.”
She added, “while many often misconstrue English 106 as writing that solely focuses on grammar and mechanical matters, it actually teaches students to think analytically and strategically about how they compose every day through numerous avenues, and also how their lived experiences aren’t always a separate entity from their scholarly pursuit, but instead greatly contributes to their understanding of their studies.”