Dust Settling...Now What?

This has been a tough (school) year for me, but only as tough as one would expect: I am a first-year full-time instructor at a community college, and that entails a whole lot of work in preparing and teaching four classes per term.  I had to create two completely new-to-me courses from the ground up, including lectures, powerpoints, readings, and assignments.  I had to try to figure out how to pace myself delivering up to three 1 hour, 50 minute lectures a day (still working on the pacing thing.)  I'm also very carefully testing the waters of the inevitable office politics, although I'm incredibly lucky in that my colleagues are all great, smart, sympathetic people and there's no question I have less political bullshit to put up with than 90%+ of other teachers out there.

The thing is, though, I appear to be over the hump with the insanity; I have all four of my courses in reasonably good shape and I'm more-or-less on top of the material.  So...now what.  The weird and (possibly) interesting thing about teaching a specific set of classes is that you can fine-tune and modify as much as you want, but the time per lecture is always the same.  What I mean is that modification for the sake of modification would be pointless, and there is a high baby-out-with-bathwater chance if you were to just ditch a lecture topic in favor of a new one.  Likewise, since the students are new each term, novelty for the instructor ("Hey!  I am lecturing about Spain more than I used to!") just means a different narrative for the students, and one that isn't necessarily "better" than the old one.

Point is: I am still figuring this shit out.  Word.


noncoupable said...

Just wanted to let you know that, when I spoke to my advisor yesterday, she mentioned feeling overwhelmed by her current class. It's a new one and she said she has to start every lecture by staring at an empty document in word -- she said she's swamped Saturday-Wednesday. I guess it goes to show that whenever you teach a new class, it's always the same.

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