Friday, September 09, 2005

Teaching ups

Fifty-six students in each class. That's 112 eyes looking at me each day. Okay, really it's probably in the 90s on any given day, but still that's a lot of folks who are counting on you to teach them something of value. I've always said you don't want a teacher on their first semester teaching or their last semester teaching as they either don't know what they are doing or really don't care any more. Most of my students don't realize that it's my first semester and I am way more scared of them then they are of me. Damn, I wish I had stayed with Toastmasters when I moved to Austin. Still, with Toastmasters you know the folks you are speaking to and your speech has preset objectives. I don't know these students and I am the one creating the objectives, although it's usually just one step ahead of the students.

So some days it's good and some days are fumbles. Yesterday was a bit of both. We were talking comm law. Originally I had that scheduled for two days, as that is what Dr. S did last year and I was just parroting it. Then I looked at the material. There was a lot of over explanation in the slides from last year and I felt I could streamline them. Plus I tend to under estimate the length of the class, so I figured this was a chance the class could go the full 75 minutes and on the second day bring in a guest speaker to talk internships and job hunting. However, the students really got into the discussion of law, defamation, misappropriation of image and copyright. Go figure. We barely got into puffery and the class was over. Damn, I should have had this chapter go two days.

Later in the afternoon I saw one of my students in the hall. He's really quite and sits in the back. He's a little geeky, but somehow has always caught my eye. Recently he moved from sitting on the aisle to more in the middle. So I asked him how things were going and if he's liking the class. I really can't tell if my students are finding it valuable or if I'm rambling. He said that my class was his favorite this semester. "Wow," I thought, "he must really have some bad classes," only I kept my mouth shut. I thanked him. He doesn't know how much I appreciated that comment. It made my week.

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