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In the game

Friday: March 14, 2014

Sorry about that, there was an issue with search engine indexing that took a while to correct. I’ll be back in the action of posting somewhat regularly soon (whatever that means for this site, anyway). I did compile some notes about my experiences this semester so far while it was down. Here are a few points that I would like to share:

  • I am surprised at (and truly appreciate) how supportive of me personally the department seems to be. I guess I did not really feel that way at the bank, looking back (where I was for about 11 years). But then again, it wasn’t like there was room for improvement really unless I changed departments there. Being a new teacher – there is plenty of room!
  • The IU system had some kinks when they reissued my student ID number, which have finally all been corrected. The interlibrary loan system (ILL) was a real problem for me, and became very frustrating for my students as well, which may have set the tone for them to not read several assignments…
  • Over break I enjoyed “PJ days” 24/7, but sadly this has been moved to 24/5. I had trouble accepting that a real job could have so much flexibility, actually (the years at the bank brainwashed me). Not just in how I spend my time (I’m only required to be on campus 6 hours a week, though the amount of work it takes for preparing each class certainly makes it a full time job), but mostly in that I define my own goals and timelines for the courses. Duh, right? But it isn’t that easy – I am still adjusting my mindset on where to draw the line. There are no rules for teaching…
  • There are no rules for teaching! I learned this when I taught at UIndy, actually. No one ever taught me how to teach (indeed, I never ever wanted to be a teacher so I never ever really thought about how). No one taught me how to plan a semester. How to assess learning. How to manage time with students contacting me, scheduling appointments, grading papers, writing lectures, etc. How to deal with students who were unable to get their books for the first month of class. How to deal with students unprepared for college in general. How to deal with Polar Vortexes that have cancelled my classes 5 times. [When I originally jotted these notes down, there was also a recent college shooting – I am certainly not prepared to handle anything of that sort.] I am amazed (yet not surprised from my own past experiences as a student) that Universities don’t offer at least a workshop for new teachers. Maybe some do, I dunno.

But this is also what I have learned, halfway through the semester: I am incredibly right and I have made key mistakes. Yes, at the same time. In another post, I will address this comment.

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