Satisfaction not guaranteed

Despite my roaring efficiently through today’s list of stuff to prepare for tomorrow, I’m having a Moment of Trepidation about the semester ahead.  Let’s go ahead and explore why:

  1. NLNRU class requires collaboration with two people.  It should be basically okay, but this collaboration is the result of necessity rather than of a real alignment of interests and practices.  (I just realized that part of the situation is that I’m about 10 years younger than each of the other folks, but I have more teaching experience, because they’re both writers who came to teaching later.  They’re effective teachers, I think, but one thing I’m remembering about teaching with one of them is that s/he has a much lower tolerance than I do for silence in the classroom.  So when I was leading discussion, I’d ask a question, and while the students were thinking, this person would leap in with a follow-up question that I didn’t particularly want asked.  Tomorrow, then, I’m definitely going to preface any questions with “I’m going to give you a minute to think about this…” or something like that, to forestall the leaping in.  Can I just ask the person not to piggyback questions?  No, this person is touchy.  Did the follow-up question really hurt anything?  No, but I am touchy, too!)
  2. Of my four SA classes, I’m scheduled to teach two in my own room.  My homeroom meets in Dr. Tea’s room (I guess it’s Romola’s turn to have homeroom in our room, which is OK), one class meets in Elinor’s room, and one class meets in the room of the teacher who has half middle-school classes.  I’m disappointed by this and wondering if it’s at all possible for me to swap with someone so that at least my two nomad classes are in the same room.  As I’ve discussed, it’s dispiriting to be changing rooms all the time when other people get to stay right where they are in an environment they get to control, with all their books and materials and phone and computer and so on close to hand.   And this is a step down from last year, when Romola and I had only one period each when we had to teach in another room (at least until I added my colleague’s class).  The only bright spot is that maybe this means that Romola and I have fairly similar schedules, and if that’s the case, we may have multiple free periods when the room is not in use, which is good for prep and for meeting with students and handling administrative tasks.
  3. This is really not cool to say, but I’m not excited by my class rosters this year.  I think of myself as really liking the rising junior class, but I am vaguely disappointed by the actual lists of names.  This feeling will probably dissipate as we get going, but it’s definitely part of my Moment.
  4. This is, objectively, a fairly tough semester.  I am directing three students doing independent work, and all three look to be somewhat time-consuming.  I have a full load and a new prep at SA (one I wanted to teach).  And Stubb is mostly away, so there is extra responsibility on the home front.

Okay, that’s about it.  I’ll probably feel better tomorrow after all the opening to-do at SA and the successful completion of my first NLNRU class meeting.  Also, I’ll submit my receipts from the awesome trip and get the process started to get $800 back–that’s a cheering prospect, no?


3 responses to this post.

  1. A quick suggestion re the first: maybe say right off that you want them to just freewrite about the issue for a moment, and then you’ll open the question for discussion. That way there’s a bit of silence, but the students are getting time to think about it. And you can even make a practice of writing, too, and encouraging your co-teacher?

    I think it would be hard not to have a home-base for my work. I hope something works out about that.


  2. Posted by meansomething on August 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Freewriting is a good suggestion, thanks! It should work well with the question I have in mind. About the room–well, we’ll see!


  3. […] glad to be earning the extra money, and I was happy to see those students again. My colleague from this post was there, too, and doing that jumping-in-with-a-followup-question just as in that […]


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