The Life of a Wannabe Academic

Detail of the life a new academic. The progress from graduate training to professor. Includes reflections on the job hunting process, research in technology and education, and what it is like to be a new college professor.

Monday, May 15, 2006

The end of a long semester

Well, it's officially over (I hope)! I have just finished entering in the final grades for my students, and I should now be officially done with Spring 2006 semester. This has truly been a trial semester for me. I will not get into fine details, but I will say that I learned a lot about what it will be like to be a professor at a school with a larger teaching load.

I taught 3 different classes this semester, Intro to Psychology, Educational Psychology, and Developmental Psychology. It is interesting how each school I taught at had its own personality. Each class has its own personality as well. For example, in my Developmetal class I have students who are not psych majors, but are very motivated to get a high grade because this is a course that matters toward their GPA to get into other programs. So though they may not be interested in the material, they are really scrambling for A's. In my Intro class (at a local community college) there is basically no motivation, save a few individuals. Ed psych is a bit of a combination of the two.

Along with the different personalities of each course, I also had a series of student dramas this semester to deal with. Again, no details provided here due to confidentiality of the students, but let me just say, everyone seemed to have had a bad semester this Spring. My classmate and friend who also taught 3 classes this year can vouch for that.

On the bright side, I learned a lot. How to deal with students having personal problems, giving out incomplete grades and what that entails, etc. But now that the final grades are in, I guess I will just have to sit back and wait for any disagreements about final grades. I especially expect this from my Intro to Psych class. Many people just stopped showing up, never dropped, and therefor got the grade they deserved.


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