Afterword: With and Because of Genevieve

Afterword: With and Because of Genevieve

Donna Qualley

Examples of Preambles to TA Participation Agreements

“While there will be no traditional grade assigned to any student’s level of participation in our section of English 101 this quarter, we have decided that it is in the best interest of this class that there be some expected standards of participation for its members. Those standards should be fair and reasonable, with enough flexibility to honor the different ways students can participate in this course” (Second-Year TA).

“Our class values personal freedom and responsibility. We are also aware that our personal choices impact others’ learning. The following agreement attempts to honor our unique and varied set of individual priorities, motivations, and goals for this course and lay the foundation for a learning space with clear expectations developed from our input” (Second- Year TA).

“Participation looks different for every individual. When we assess our own participation throughout the quarter, we’ll be able to reflect on and evaluate diverse ways of participating” (Second-Year TA).

“Participation itself means a variety of things, and for the purposes of evaluation, we prefer that it be defined more broadly. Speaking out in the large class group is difficult for many of us, so we would like out “participation” to be evaluated on the quality of any work we turn in, the notes we might take in class, the work we do to prepare for class, and the degree to which we converse with our peers in our small group and online discussions” (First-Year TA).

“As a group, the general consensus is that the class is more fulfilling when everybody participates. This leads to better discussion: questions get asked and answered: thoughts and ideas get refined: When everyone participates the class runs smoother and is more interesting and fun. With lots of ideas being brought to the table, everyone gets thinking. So what will we do to foster this type of participation that we’ve agreed makes the class meaningful and beneficial?” (First- Year TA).

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