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, July 10, 2006

Next Year's Class

I wrote last time that I would be teaching a large section of Intro...well I have learned that it is larger than I had anticipated. I was not given a 1/2 section as had been the practice of my chair when giving grad students their own class to teach. I will be teaching a full section of Intro with 200+ students in one of the largest lecture bowls on campus! I'm not too worried about the size of the class. I think I'll handle myself just fine in front of that number of students. I'm worried about how to change the class from what I had been doing.

I usually only had 25-30 students before which allowed much more interaction and short assignments. Now there will be less interaction on my part, and more on my undergraduate TA's part. I do not know who will be teaching my lab/discussion sections, but I will be in charge of 4 UTA's and I hope that I get some that are willing to take initiative in their classrooms. I also need to prepare my labs in such a way as to make the job of teaching them relatively easy on the TA's which means A LOT of preparation on my part. My friend had TA's last year and she basically taught the TA's hw to teach the class.

I'm excited to take on this more unique method of teaching. It is not my ideal class size, I prefer much smaller classes to the big economy-sized lectures, but that is where education in larger publich schools is heading. Another reason why I want a liberal arts job.

I have also been updating my course website, including a new feature. I have started a hyperlinked glassary now that I have learned how to use anchors within my website pages. Very cool and easy to use. I use Adobe GoLive to author website, I do not know enough HTML to get by, but GoLive really makes it easy once you have learned the features. Something that I have been learning bit by bit over the last 3.5 years.

It's amazing how user friendly web authoring is these days!