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.

Friday, August 31, 2007

First week of classes

It's Friday and I've finished my first week of classes. I will say that I am very much enjoying my new job so far. I have luckily been given courses to teach that I have already taught in the past. But even so there have been a lot of changes that I have had to make because the class size is so much smaller. I am also noticing the differences between a larger university and a small liberal arts college:
  • students are more willing to go to the professor and expect one-on-one attention (a good thing in my book)
  • This extra attention requires a lot of time and work on my part (still good, I need to learn to manage my time better)
  • Having students do discussions and active learning takes a lot of planning.
  • Students love to listen to music before class, but they don't like all of my musical tastes.
  • You get to really know people outside of your department
  • faculty must wear many many hats
  • I like small colleges much better than big universities!

So my first week went well. I will really need to work on learning my students' names but that will come in a couple of weeks hopefully. I am even more excited to start to get past the dryer introductory stuff and get into more interesting material. I just hope that I do not overwork my students. I'm hoping that averaging one out-of class assignment per chapter is a good number. I also try to do some sort of active learning (discussion, writing, group work) in every class period.

I am very much looking forward to my long weekend this labor day. Weather is supposed to be very nice out and there is a ton of stuff going on in the area. I hope I have time to relax :)


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