The new class

Jan 28 2016 Published by under [Education&Careers]

For better or for worse, I decided to ditch the class I had been teaching pre-tenure and create a new class. The new class has some cross-over with my previous one, but is aimed at an earlier (2nd years) and larger audience. I also decided to team teach the course, because my co-instructor brings a ton of interesting and useful experience to the table for this class.

The last time I did a new class prep, it was horrible. That was the hardest semester I've had in this job, for a variety of reasons, but class creation was chief among them. I thought I had a plan for it, but it kicked my ass so hard. That experience left me with mixed feelings going into this semester. I know have way more service and departmental responsibility than I did back then, a much larger lab and I'm juggling different grants while writing for some new opportunities. I don't have time for an ass kicking.

It's early yet, but this time around is completely different. I could almost saying I'm kind of enjoying it. The experience I have at this point makes it WAAAAAY easier to know what to include in a lecture and what to toss. I have a good feel for timing, which was lost on me before. I don't feel like I need to add content to avoid coming up short. Instead I have the confidence to know I can talk through the material in different ways, depending on the time available. Since the class is right in my wheelhouse, I'm having fun with adding in information from the literature.

In short, it could not be a more different experience. I am controlling the class, rather than surviving it. This job continues to amaze.

One response so far

  • FR says:

    I am teaching a new (for me) class this semester. I tend to add more stuff to the lecture/and slides just to make sure that I do not come up short. Although I can probably speak about the subject for some time.

    I dont know how to shrug this off.

    Also the class seems to be not very repressive. It is like they are judging if I am good or just a fluke. This might be in my head or is it in everyone's head who starts to teach a new class?

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