A Composition Professor is really a unique job. The title implies that you are a professor of some sort, but what does it mean to be a Composition professor? Quite simply, this is the person who helps students create excellent compositions. Their job responsibilities include giving students feedback on their writing assignments for class and grading papers, as well as discussing possible improvements with students or sharing ideas on how to improve student writing with other faculty members within your school.
What will be your responsibilities and duties as a composition professor?
Your responsibilities as a composition professor will include, but are not limited to:
- Grading student essays: This is often graded on a grading scale that you are assigned.
- Teaching students about the fundamentals of writing: This will include showing them tools to help them edit their own work more effectively, as well as introducing them to different style guides and resources they might need for future assignments.
- Giving suggestions/feedback on possible improvements on student work: As composition professors, it's your responsibility to provide thorough feedback on student work. You will be required to share any ideas or ask questions that may lead the students in the right direction while pointing out where their writing could improve. Your job is to not just give grades but try to educate your students so they can become better writers themselves.
- Attending faculty meetings: This means sharing progress on grading or any issues you might see from students as well as sharing ideas with other faculty members.
- Participating in school activities: There is a possibility that a composition professor will be asked to attend school conferences, special events, and other engagements outside of the classroom where your input may be needed.
What qualifications do you need to become a composition professor?
To become a composition professor, it is necessary to earn either a Master's degree in English or any education field related to literature. It is preferable if the degree includes some coursework in teaching methods. However, this is not necessarily required. You can also gain relevant experience through working as an editor or proofreader for literary magazines, newspapers, academic journals, or publishing companies.
What skills do you need for this position?
There are several skills that you should have to become a composition professor, including:
- The ability to provide constructive feedback on writing assignments: Composition professors need to be able to provide feedback that is helpful and not just meant to "grade" the student. This includes providing accurate advice, positive encouragements, recommendations on where or how students can improve their work, etc…
- The ability to communicate well with others: Composition professors are often the first person within the school who works with students one-on-one. It's important for your communication skills to be effective so that you can help students know what they're doing wrong but also encourage them if they're improving.
- Good organizational skills: As a composition professor, you will occasionally have several writing projects that are due at once. You'll need good organizational skills in order to keep track of all deadlines and grading procedures.
- Knowledge of literature and writing: Composition professors need to stay up-to-date on the latest tools and resources that can help students improve their writing. Therefore, it's helpful if you have strong knowledge of various literary techniques and styles of writing.
What classes should I take to prepare me for this job?
- ESL classes: These courses allow students who only speak English as a second language to learn how it works so they can communicate effectively. Classes usually focus on reading, grammar, essay writing, and speaking to provide the best learning experience possible.
- Creative writing classes: These courses are meant to teach students how to express their thoughts, feelings, and ideas through writing. Students may learn different techniques for putting their creativity into words or how to develop their own unique style of writing.
- Grammar lessons: Composition professors must be able to identify errors in student papers and knowing basic grammar is a good foundation for this job.
- Etymology lessons: A composition professor needs to be able to explain why some words mean what they mean as well as learn the various uses of words. This will help them better understand student essays and give constructive feedback on possible improvements.
What tools and programs will you use as a composition professor?
Composition professors will use different tools to grade student essays, provide feedback, and edit writing. Some of these include:
Word processors: These are software programs that allow composition professors to type in their comments directly onto the document being graded or edited. This makes it much easier to correct errors or make suggestions when needed.
Style guides: Since composition professors mainly focus on editorial work for literature, they need to be familiar with different writing styles depending on what they're working on. Style guides are useful resources in this field that composition professors use when editing documents in order to maintain a consistent tone throughout the entire piece.
What are the time commitments of a composition professor?
A composition professor's job requires at least 40 hours per week. You will need to spend time grading student essays and preparing for classes, especially if you are teaching multiple courses. Some faculty members develop creative lesson plans to keep students engaged with topics that are often considered tedious by students.
These include writing research papers or learning about proper grammar use. Others may focus on ways to help students improve their self-confidence in their writing abilities or how to become more effective writers outside of class assignments. Strive to create lessons that both entertain and educate your students so they will enjoy learning from you!
What does the day look like in this position?
A composition professor will work primarily in an office setting since most of the work consists of writing lesson plans, grading student essays, and preparing for classes. You may be teaching more than one class so you'll need to prepare individual lesson plans fine-tuning your skills as a teacher.
If you're teaching multiple courses, you must prepare assignments that are specific enough to each class but also comprehensive enough to fit into the course objectives. Then there are some professors who have offices with doors that close so they can focus on educational interests without being bothered by students stopping by for their scheduled office hours. What about after working hours?
Composition professors typically spend time outside of normal business hours answering emails or any questions posed by students regarding their required writing tasks. You'll likely be adjusting to student work schedules as well as your own since the hours can vary depending on what time of year it is and other factors. For this reason, you need to work a flexible schedule.
What should a composition professor expect from their students?
A composition professor may find that their students are mostly interested in passing the class or getting the highest grade possible for their essays. However, there are some students who genuinely want to learn about different aspects of writing such as developing an idea, thinking critically, or even editing their paper to convey what they're truly trying to express.
Some students will come into your office looking for clarification on certain lessons which you'll have to explain thoroughly so they understand what will benefit them most in their future writing experiences.
How is pay as a composition professor?
According to some sources, salary can range from $45K-$100K depending on whether you work as a teacher at an elementary or secondary school level or teach at a college or university setting. You may have some administrative duties where you supervise other faculty members as well as students, especially those who may not be fulfilling their research or writing assignments. In addition, you'll likely have other responsibilities such as planning field trips for upcoming courses as well as inviting guest speakers to provide additional lessons to your class.
How do you become a composition professor?
Lack of interest with regard to education may result in fewer applicants entering the teaching field, especially at lower levels such as high school and middle school. It's important for those who would like to become composition professors to select coursework in college that will allow them the opportunity to gain hands-on experience.
If you plan on teaching high school students, focus on courses such as English literature, creative writing, rhetoric, and critical thinking/argumentative writing. Keep in mind that most private or public universities require more coursework for secondary education compared to those who intend on pursuing a bachelor's degree in the field of composition studies.
Teaching certification is mandatory when applying for a position in elementary and secondary schools, especially since students often ask questions regarding the material that will be covered in their classes. Those who plan on teaching at lower levels may need to take additional classes such as reading and writing in the content areas while those teaching at universities should expect to complete a dissertation during their post-graduate years.
You can prepare yourself by taking graduate courses that offer an emphasis on composition studies or instructional practices such as designing curriculum and classroom management. And finally, each state has its own requirements when it comes to academic licensing so you'll need to do some research before applying for any opportunities.
How to pass the interview successfully?
Once you have the necessary requirements to be a composition professor, it's important to know how to shine with your interview. Research the institution in which you're applying for a teaching position and come prepared with questions about their mission or philosophy when it comes to education.
You may also want to mention any previous experiences that have helped you develop strong leadership qualities such as being an officer in an honor society or coaching a sports team. In addition, it's vital that you demonstrate good communication skills since this is typically required of all faculty members who teach at universities.
Is there any internship opportunity for the composition professor job?
In many cases, teachers who are known as tenure track professors will have to complete a teaching internship during their early years in the classroom. In most cases, this may be a part-time position that allows you to gain prior experience before pursuing full-time work.
And finally, once you've completed your career training and have been officially hired for a job at a school institution, you'll then start developing activities that allow you to apply what you've learned in a real-world setting such as committee work or other academic roles.
What companies are the most popular to apply for this position?
There are a number of companies that hire teachers at the secondary level such as The University of Phoenix, Saint Leo University Online, Capella University Online, Ashford University Online. In addition, those who wish to teach at elementary schools can apply online through American Public University System and Walden University.
How does this position fit into the bigger picture?
Composition professor jobs are expected to increase because of the growing demand in education. Universities across the country will continue requiring professors who specialize in teaching writing and communicating effectively using a variety of tools including technology. This is a career that can last a lifetime if one takes proper training courses so they can serve their community with excellence by preparing students for college, business, and social settings!
Career paths for a composition professor
More companies are providing opportunities for teachers in the areas of early childhood education, writing teacher, English teacher, language arts instructor
Careers that require degrees similar to a composition professor:
Public schools provide their students with several different types of learning experiences which are taught by teachers at all grade levels. An elementary school teacher is responsible for instructing children grades K-5 while middle school educators typically take care of those students who stay from grades 6-8.
High school instructors focus on the preparation of college-bound teens and often teach classes such as English, mathematics, history, and science. Those professionals who want to work at institutions such as colleges or universities must first earn a doctorate degree before they're given an opportunity to be hired. In this case, it could be possible to teach in the areas of composition, literature, writing, and culture.
What are the pros and cons of becoming a composition professor?
The pros include working with students who are passionate about learning; there really is no better feeling than watching them grasp new concepts and grow up with self-confidence! The cons include a lack of a predictable daily schedule and the fact that it can be stressful at times.