Monday, March 11, 2013

End of Quarter/Beginning of Other Things

Well, I've officially landed in finals week once again.  At my college, we go by the rather antiquated quarter system.  It's frustrating that I only have 10 weeks with my students. It's nice in that if I don't like my teaching assignments, it's only ten weeks.  So there is that...

In Other News, Spring Has Sprung
Right now I'm teaching an online English 2 class. English 1 is in the Fall, English 2 is in the winter and a combination of the two is offered in spring since lots of people don't do a lockstep curriculum. I'm also teaching a graduate course called Writing Theory.  Good students- English majors for the most part. We talked about theories behind the practices they have noticed in their own first and second year teaching experiences.  It went remarkably well.  I was able to present timely articles related to their inquiries and interests.  On the last days, they each presented on their own research and will turn in a final research article tomorrow.  I learned something from each of them. 

One thing I noticed is how uncomfortable it has been for me to transition from the role of graduate student to that of The Professor.  I'm a great grad student. Seriously. I can help other students with their research, presentations and homework. I can debate education philosophy and use student examples.  Fortunately and unfortunately, I graduated and can't seem to find a program past Ph.D. that will let me continue doing that. 

What I have a hard time with is that these students see me as some all-knowing (or at least more-knowing) person who is not like themselves.  My identity, like that identities I have asked them to form as teachers, must reflect not only the goals I have for them, but also the expectations they have of me.  That includes being professional and a little distant though warm and approachable about all things theory and classroom.  That also means I don't go drinking beer with them.  My doc professors never did, even if my undergrad professors did. Clear boundaries.  That's pretty important.

Once I got used to that idea, life became pretty easy.  The students show up on time, prepared and ready to discuss theory and apply it to themeslves as writers, students and as teachers. I am pretty enthusiastic about teaching English so many times the class taught itself and I acted merely as a guide. Once I thought I was going to have to break up a grammar fight that threatened to break into a grammar knock-down-drag-out brawl.  Moral of the story: future English teachers rock too.

Next quarter I have special challenges. I get to teach 4 classes (eep!), two of which I created the objectives, curriculum and every single assignment.  I will also be assessing the class and presenting my findings at conferences. There is a lot to this, and I have spent the last six months preparing for the class. Whew!

My other classes are a multi-cultural literature course and an English 2 class.  The literature course is interesting because a) I have never taught it before and b) it meets four days a week. That's going to be a challenge. Four days a week? That's like...40 class meetings. Almost like a 16 week course.  And it's full- 25 students, none of whom are freshmen. 

I have other things in the works...job information and big decisions that require time and thought.  Grey and I will be close to figuring out what our next move(s) is/are within a week.  I'll let you know how it turns out.

In the meantime, I have about a million things to grade and I'm only prolonging the agony by ducking into my blog to spend time outside of my head. 

1 comment:

  1. Wondering what the move(s) is/are?
    I'm having fun catching up with your blog.