Sunday, February 04, 2007

Swinging into the semester

We've finished the first two weeks of the semester. Getting started back up is busy, which is why I haven't blogged much. It's my fourth semester teaching (second as a full-time faculty member) and yet there are days I'm still not used to it. Although I initially wasn't ready for the semester to start, after missing three days of classes because of the ice storm, I was finally ready to go back to school when it started two weeks ago. Now, it seems like we've been in class for months.

I didn't sleep well the night before classes started. It was almost like when I was a student. I was worried about my classes -- would the students like me, would they get me. Yet, for the first time in my teaching, I'm getting returning students. Out of 28 students in my two campaigns courses, I've had 12 of them previously. Out of 14 students in my writing class, I know 4. Last semester I only had 2 students out of 148 who I knew at the beginning of the semester. Now I have students who are choosing to take classes because I'm teaching them. It's also the first semester where I've had a small (38 students) Intro class. This means I only have 80 students among my four classes. Compare this with 90 students just in Intro last semester.

I'm actually pretty excited with my campaigns classes this semester. Having taught it once, I'm a little more experienced, but also, these students seem on the ball with their client work. I think we can get a lot accomplished. I've been pretty easy with my writing class thus far. Last semester I made assumptions on where they should be in regards to their writing skills and I was wrong. This semester we are starting with the basics. It's boring, I'm sure, but I'm hoping it will help them to be better writers.

I think I'm starting to get into the rhythm of my new schedule. Last semester I was only on campus 2 days a week, but I went from 8-4:30, with basically an hour break at 9:45 and an hour at 3:30. This semester I'm on campus 4 days, but am done by 12:30 each day. I don't like the mileage on the car, but the hours, and commute home, is much better, plus I'm not as exhausted.

I'm still not sure what the fall will bring, if I'll be teaching or doing something else. It's looking more promising that I could be teaching, but one never knows.

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