Our English department had a retreat on Monday morning where we got to discuss the courses we would like to offer next year. First of all, kudos to the administration for empowering us in this way. We had a wonderful discussion of semester courses each of us would like to offer, coming up with a final list ranging from medieval literature to the 19th century novel to poetry writing. This leads me to my second of all ... the time to talk and share is what engenders great teaching. I know we all left this meeting excited about the mere possibilities of these courses, and I know we will all continue to talk about them should we get approval to offer them. It seems like such a simple solution: give teachers some control over their curriculum and courses and then give them time to act upon such control.
[Oh, and in case you are wondering, my courses would be "World Religions through Literature" and something about writing -- "Creative Writing" or "Poetry" or ... :)]