I do still have a few things to work out for the start of the semester, but at this point it’s more the semester happening than me preparing for it! I’m going to mark this goal done. Not sure yet if I’m going to have a task-oriented list-y goal this fall, but I’m sure I will figure it out in the next two weeks or so if I need one.
dragonfly35 has written 14 entries about this goal
Print remaining items for Monday class
- Open Blackboard site and unlock relevant materials
Figure out what I changed my computer log-in to
- Print rosters for Monday class
- Put together teaching bag
Prep for meeting Pick up hire letter, keys, parking pass Paperwork for Pro-D Meet re: project Do additional work needed on project before meeting Pick up some food to contribute to the meeting
- Finish and print syllabus for Tuesday class
- Complete lesson plan for Tuesday class
- Finish and print day 1 materials for Tuesday class
- Finish and open Blackboard site
- Go to library and check on DVD watching procedure
- Print rosters for Tuesday class
early in the summer, because the last few weeks have been all wedding and honeymoon, and no planning!
I did complete the syllabus for Monday’s class (I think) and sent it in for printing. I watched one of the videos my colleague gave me while I was at my parents’ house (I don’t have a VCR) and decided to use it in class. The library has a DVD the students can watch in viewing rooms there.
I have one partially completed syllabus to go and lots of prep for tomorrow’s meeting, plus the other documents that need to be sent to printing for Day 1 – we’ll see what I’m actually able to get done. It is a bit of a shock coming back so close to the start of the semester, but I did plan it this way for various reasons, so I have to keep this in mind.
but progress is slow. I’m writing a lot of new materials and I think they’ll be helpful. Truth be told, I’m going to run out of time at some point and I’m not sure I’ll be as conscientious about creating my materials after that, but at least I’ll have a good solid beginning to my course that I can keep building on.
I’m a bit nervous that I haven’t put much time into my new course, but I still think I’ve made the right decision for how to spend my time. I have a textbook for my new course, and I can rely on that more or less heavily, depending on what my schedule and energy allows.
I think Week 1 of the main course is prepared. (Materials and planning container for Blackboard.) I hope the other course (and the other weeks of this course) don’t take as long, because it has taken me forever to get to this point.
I think the other weeks will be faster, since back in Week 1 of last semester, I had no idea what I was doing. lol
I’m really happy with what I’ve put together, and I think it will be a solid foundation for the other weeks of the semester to build upon.
With a new course to teach and no textbook for my other course, I definitely have lots to do on my “vacation”.
I have access to the Blackboard container for my core class, and I’ve requested (and received) a “development container” so I can set up the course more completely in advance and just copy it each semester into the course container. I’ve imported the general template and need to start modifying it so that it will work for me.
I don’t yet have access to the Blackboard container for my elective class, but I can definitely start working on the syllabus and calendar for that course more completely.
I wish I had a month after the wedding to work on this… but I don’t, so I just have to suck it up.
I got a bunch of documents related to my new course and saved them all diligently, but am still figuring out how I want the course to be.
I redid the syllabus for my core class (still missing a couple of details, but more or less redone) and started the syllabus for my new elective.
I contacted one of the full-timers and found out how to get a development container for Blackboard so I can make a template that I can use in future semesters.
I put my classes into my calendar.
It’s a start, but I’m realizing how much needs to be done. I think summer vacation really is an illusion. :)
my Blackboard container is now available for my new course. Setting it up will be very important since it will be a major resource in my course (which doesn’t use textbooks). It would probably be good to get that done now rather than right before or after the wedding…
Summer vacation was an illusion, wasn’t it?
Well, hurrah! I have finally succeeded in picking up another class for next semester. It is about ideal – a 3-unit listening and speaking class, so it takes me to max load for an adjunct but shouldn’t be too much extra grading. It should take me to a financial level where I can start contributing to our household again financially speaking, and will hopefully still leave time and energy for teaching yoga.
I will probably officially bow out of the language school subbing business, although I will continue to do exam consulting for now. This part of my resolutions is working out quite well.
I will be getting an orientation to the course tomorrow, and then will have to order my books. I decided not to have any books for my other class. I will make them read short stories and articles this semester and see how that goes. Hopefully if they read less we can spend more time working on it and also can spend more time on the grammar, which they really, really need!
I was able to get my hands on four candidates for next semester’s book today. I have to pick one as soon as possible, which means narrowing them down and then reading the one I think is the best option and seeing how it goes.
One good option is Outcasts United, suggested by Colleen_ C _C. Immediately in the first few pages, I see a good selection of sentence structures and verb tenses. The level of vocabulary and storytelling seems about right. It is kind of journalistic in tone, but I think the story will be engaging, and soccer is a topic that many people are interested in. Additionally, it addresses the refugee experience, which some (but not all) of my students are living, and I think the personal stories will be engaging enough, even if they don’t like soccer. I may have students from some of the same countries as the students in the book, and they might feel interested to see their country featured and excited to see a book about what it’s like to be a refugee in America. I hope they don’t find the book too similar to their experience in the sense that they don’t get anything new from it. I don’t think so, but I wonder if it challenges them enough to make connections. It deals with some difficult but relevant topics, and it could bring up some bad memories. I think if approached with sensitivity it could be OK. I will need to read it to know more.
The Cellist of Sarajevo was suggested on a book list I found online. It is, of course, about war – so it could be relevant to my students, and could also bring up some bad memories. I’m worried about how graphic the war descriptions are. I know that the other books suggested by the Chair have some graphic violent images in them, and I’m less worried about war violence than about sexual violence, as I’ve explained. It seems advantageous in some ways that it is not about a culture any of my students are likely to be from, and yet addresses aspects of their experience. The range of grammar seems good, though a bit literary (therefore difficult) at times. The vocabulary seems difficult in some parts. Overall, it may simply be too challenging for my students.
West of Kabul, East of New York was on the same book list. It’s interesting in that the author explores his relationship to two worlds: Afghanistan, and America. I would say the key audience is Americans, though, and one purpose of the book seems to be explaining Afghanistan to Americans. I’m not sure if my students would relate, and there is a big section explaining about Islam. I’m not sure how that would go over with my many Christian students who fled persecution in a Muslim country… I have already been accused this semester of being prejudiced against Christians… That’s probably not relevant, but I’m just not sure my students are the target audience for this book anyway… Linguistically speaking, it does have a useful range of structures. The vocabulary level varies. It doesn’t seem as “teachable” as Outcasts United though.
Reading Lolita in Tehran, also suggested by Colleen_ C _C, seems provocative, probably in a good way, but I wonder if the many references to various works of literature scattered throughout the text would pose a teaching challenge. The subtleties of the language might also pose a problem. I think the combination of high-level vocabulary with literary references makes it too difficult for this class to read on their own in a semester, considering the limited class time we can devote to supporting their learning.
Having “talked” this out here, I think I’ll start reading Outcasts United more thoroughly and see what I think. There are tons of teacher resources on the website too.
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