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Teaching Responsibilities

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Martin J. Heade-The Approaching Storm

I began my teaching career in 1973 as a tutor in one of the City University of New York Writing Centers (Bronx Community College) which was established in connection with the implementation of Open Admissions. At the time, large numbers of underprepared students were entering college and teachers in all disciplines were at a loss as to how to respond to and help these students who were now able to attend college. I must confess that the program leaned toward grammar drills and focused on the acquisition of skills and gave very little attention to writing.

In 1980 I took a position as a teacher in an adult basic education program located at another CUNY college. I worked with adult students, many of whom had graduated from high school but were reading on a third to fifth grade reading level. I taught content in all subject areas and again, because my own training as a writing teacher was non-existent, I rarely allowed my students to write because I did not know how to respond to them. I am afraid that I learned more from my students than they learned from me and they were the mentors who encouraged me to return to graduate school.

In 1989 I earned a Master's degree in English Literature (Hunter College, CUNY) and in the fall semester I began teaching writing at the college level. As most adjuncts experience this trial by fire, I was handed a roll book and a piece of chalk and I was on my own.

I attended two doctoral programs and received teaching fellowships in each. I taught composition courses at Hunter College for several years before receiving a position at New York University's Expository Writing Program in 1992. I taught classes in composition there for four years and that is where I finally had the opportunity to examine what exactly a writing teacher might do. I received my Ph.D. in English Education from NYU's Steinhardt School of Education in 1998.

In 1999 I received a full time position in the General Studies Program at New York University. I was a Master Teacher of Prose Composition and taught the two semester required writing sequence. I also developed and taught a writing course on business ethics for students in the Stern School of Business and developed and taught a sophomore seminar on memoir. I spent the Spring 2004 semester living and teaching at the NYU study abroad site in Florence, Italy.

In August 2005 I accepted a tenure track position in the English and Speech Department at FIT/SUNY. I had worked there as an adjunct for several years in the mid 1990's and enjoyed working with students who were such creative and unique individuals. They continue to be so and it is a challenge and a privilege to work with them.

In my present position at FIT, I am responsible for teaching four sections of a one semester writing course which is required for all undergraduates in either the Associate's or Bachelor's degree programs. Students at FIT are not liberal arts majors. They apply directly to their major in art, design, business or technology. In spring 2007 I will teach an honors course in the Presidential Scholar's Program, a historical overview of the autobiographical impulse in America.