Tuesday, January 18, 2011

First Day of School!

Yup, I finally started teaching today. Finally. The syllabus was done yesterday afternoon while the children napped. I used a great deal of "Readings: TBA" in part so I can be more flexible as the semester moves on and in part because I really have no idea what we're going to read. Yet.

The good? I was able to move all of my classrooms into rooms with a smartboard (I still don't know how to use one, but maybe I'll learn this semester), a computer, and Internet access. I also found out that there is a computer lab that I can use with my students. Time to revise papers on the spot! I am very excited about this.

The bad? Blackboard was acting weird, and so I had to actually go over the syllabus in more detail than I would have liked because my course was still reading "unavailable" and thus the students couldn't access anything I had put up there. It's fixed, but it's still annoying.

The ugly? The textbook I selected for my 100-level class, the one without readings?  Turns out, we could have selected the one with the readings, and that is the version that the bookstore brought in, charging the students more money than they needed to spend. I didn't even know we had the option. So now my students have "wasted" money, or I have to change my syllabus (hey, Readings TBA, right?). Or, some students may have bought it with readings and some without. Ugh.

Live and learn.

But it's great to be in front of the classroom again. This semester, I'm a lot more confident about the courses I'm teaching; when my 200-level students' eyes glazed over when I said that we were going to be discussing education reform, I knew with a decent amount of certainty that I will have won most of them over by the end of the semester. You know, why high school sucks.

Now if I could only get a chair in my office that puts me in a good position to type and work on my computer...

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