Lecturae Terminalis

Apr 26 2011 Published by under [Education&Careers]

The day has finally arrived that I give my final lecture for the year. It's not the last class period of the year, but due to some other things on the syllabus, this is the last lecture I need to deliver. Based on the liberal translation for the title, clearly it is not on Latin, but I always pick a final topic that I enjoy so that I can end the semester teaching something I like.

Overall, this class been far smoother than its first iteration a year ago. Rather than spending many nights awake into the am, I found I was able to make minor changes this semester and deliver the material more effectively all the same. There are still changes that need to be made and I have already put together next year's syllabus, which I have substantially re-arranged. This year, however, I finally felt like I was one step ahead.

I'm making changes to the material and to the way it is presented. I'm modifying some of the key assignments, augmenting the lab with some new material and changing the grading policy. I'm re-organizing several of the lectures and including summary questions at the end of each for discussion to drive the main points home. I cover a lot of material in my class, and I'm hoping the adjustments I am planning will allow the students to assimilate the information more easily. I also think it is a happy medium between respecting my time and providing the students with more tools to grasp the material. I'm not going to be making study guides or practice tests, but I am willing to summarize each lecture if they are willing to join the discussion.

Not coincidentally, I'm finally starting to view teaching as less of a burden and actually thinking I could enjoy it. Last year was strictly survival and this year was the first time I could look at the course more objectively and determine how I could make it what I wanted rather than a bastardized version of what someone else had taught previously. The modifications I'm making to how the course is run and taught will give me the most flexibility and reduce the ancillary shit that has made this semester a lot of work. Next year I anticipate I will finally own this course, rather than the other way around.

3 responses so far

Leave a Reply