Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Teaching Tuesday: First day of class

  • I was so worried about being on time for class and being prepared. When I got to campus and parked, I had just enough time to go to my office, grab my syllabi, and take a moment to get organized. I decided to take the textbook so I could show my students what it looked like. I took along the printed copy of the slides with my notes. I go to the classroom, booted up the computer on the podium, and realized I’d left my USB stick (with the lecture on it) in my bag upstairs. Fortunately, I had enough time to run back and get it.
  • I’ve also been stressing about looking professional enough. The last week or two, I’ve been trying to notice what my colleagues wear (but there are not a lot of women to compare with) and carefully thinking through my outfits. As I made my way across campus this morning, I realized it was easy to distinguish between the faculty/staff women and the undergraduate girls. The faculty were the ones not wearing very short shorts, track pants, and flip-flops.
  • I’d forgotten how fun it is to track your enrollment changes. On Friday, I had 46 students in class. Monday, it peaked at 77. After class today, I was down to 71. And from here on out, I expect it’ll keep dropping.
  • I'd also forgotten how after you get that first week of lectures prepared, the feeling of elation is quickly replaced with the sobering realization that the next week isn't even started. That all that work only got you 1/16th of the way through the semester. I guess that's part of why I prefer research to teaching - it's easier to ignore the feeling of impending doom.
  • Speaking of such things, my decision to assign two short papers was weighing heavily upon me as the enrollment nearly doubled. But then what to my wondering eyes should appear? A TA assigned to me for 8 hours/week. Since I don't teach labs, (s)he is mostly to help with the grading. I hope (s)he doesn't mind reading papers. :)

3 comments:

Writer Chica said...

Sounds like you are off to a great start. Funny image of the undergrad girls. Great to hear that you have a TA-very nice!

Great Work, Sciencewoman! Happy start to the semester, Professor!

PhD Mom said...

Teaching was really difficult for me. I can definitely relate to the I haven't even started next weeks lessons feeling. Along the lines of clothes...try Ann Taylor, seems like all women faculty seem to shop there.

Science said...

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