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September Sessions Preview: 2021

balloon arch with welcome sign

Next week marks the kick-off of PWR September Sessions 2021, with meetings from 9AM-11:30AM and 1:00PM-3:30PM on Thursday, September 9, Friday, September 10, and Monday, September 13. We’re also holding a bonus optional “Welcome Back to Campus” day on Thursday, September 16. See the full schedule here.  

In developing this year's sessions, the Septembrists were playing with the idea of "looking back, looking forward" and the "past, present, and future of teaching writing."  The idea of this specific moment and what lies ahead were very much on our mind.  For this reason, this year’s September Sessions provide us with multiple opportunities:

  1. To come together as a community, to reconnect and meet new colleagues

  2. To reflect on our “past” pedagogy--both from a long-term perspective, if you like, as well as from the pandemic-induced pedagogical changes and adaptations;

  3. To think together about how to use the learnings from the past year as well as the “newness” of this year--as students, instructors, and the university return to in-person teaching and learning in a context still fraught with uncertainty yet much excitement; 

  4. To build strategies and frameworks for refining our program’s mission, pedagogy, and future together. 

To prepare for September Sessions, lecturers are asked to review University guidance for Fall available on TeachAnywhere and also to read three different selections -- two brief pieces of “academic journalism” and one article from an academic journal. You can read more about them in our Rhetoric from the Field article in this issue.

In designing this year's sessions, the Septembrists tried to focus on designing sessions that will direct our broader reflections to concrete solutions and practices.  As part of this process, we’ll be talking through the policies that directly affect us and our students, providing an overview of key University messaging, and answering questions about what it means to be back on campus and in the classroom. And, over these three days of conversation, consultation, and collaboration, we’ll do this all with our pedagogical mission in mind, as well as attention to what it all means to us, as people, navigating this unusual experience.

We're hopeful that all who attend embrace the spirit of September Sessions as an opportunity for critical reflection, collaboration, and community building.  While the moment is not of our own making, and one we would not choose, we can aim to heal and grow together in AY 2021-22. 

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