Jul 6, 2008, 5:52 AM
Re: [possumholler] best teaching of writing programs
I have found little info about MFA programs with the best teaching of writing programs. I'm trying to develop a top ten list of best pedagogy programs to help me narrow my list for fall 2009 applications. I'd appreciate any help and advice.Mike,
If your goal is to eventually teach creative writing on the college level, you should really be looking at two things:
1) The national reputation of the school.
People don't like to admit this, but universities and English departments care about this. A LOT. There's a reason that Iowa places more graduates in college level teaching jobs than any other program. Universities are businesses, after all, and they like to be able to say we have a professor of creative writing who went to the most prestigious school in the country, just like they like to say we have a Rennaisance professor from Yale or a Victorian scholar from Berkeley. If I hadn't been on a lot of search committees myself, I wouldn't say this, but I've seen it happen again and again.
2) Whether the program gives you an opportunity to teach either literature or creative writing.
Most programs will give students the opportunity to teach composition or rhetoric, but if you have some experience teaching either literature or creative writing, you'll stand out a bit among the other applicants.
As for programs that offer courses in pedagogy, or the teaching of writing, I hate to say it, but that's not going to matter nearly as much as where you went to school, what you've actually taught, and, of course, what you've published. Your publication record is ultimately the most important thing, followed by where you went to school. You could take all the pedagogy courses in the world, and it wouldn't matter if another applicant has a book under his or her belt or if another applicant went to, say, Iowa. I'm not trying to suggest that courses in the teaching of creative writing aren't important. I personally think they're great. I'm just trying to give you a realistic idea of what university search committees look for and what will ultimately give you the best shot at getting a job.
I hope this helps.
(This post was edited by dorchester on Jul 6, 2008, 5:54 AM)