teaching journal 1

Last spring, Lisa Ede suggested I keep a teaching journal (especially since I have the fairly unique opportunity to chronicle what it’s like to transition from years of writing center experience to classroom teaching). I was going to keep it in a separate non-public blog — so I can write more freely and openly — and I did start some entries in another blog. But I don’t think that will be necessary. And I like to keep my world together (heheh, whatever that means).

Last night, I figured out how to download my class rosters into Excel. And  I’ll admit it: that first moment, when the first twenty-five names appeared on the screen — that was like… well, I don’t know… What is that like? It was a bit thrilling. Then I looked up about half of my students on Facebook. Got that idea from Lauren Karp (I think it was Lauren) last Fall. About a fourth of them are there and have public profiles. That’s way helpful — I’m feeling hyper-curious about my students and anxious to find a way to help me memorize names. The first student’s profile I looked at included “Philosophy/Theology” among his interests. Heheh, now that was a happy way to begin — though I know that won’t happen very often. Lots of engineering students, not surprisingly.  Gotta remember what we talked about in Teaching of Writing last Fall about ways to angle class activities toward science and engineering majors. <<<FIND THOSE NOTES>>>

I’m thankful that I’m not feeling completely stressed and overwhelmed with all I have to do and figure out in the next week. That is a supreme improvement over last Fall at this time, and then I was kind of still in my element — I was the graduate administrator in OSU’s writing center. Yeah, I went from working with a staff of 6-8 to a staff of 35-40, but still, writing centers are comfort zones for me.

I’m feeling thrilled (and nervous) that I finally get to be teaching — you know, a college class, my college class, two of them actually (I’m teaching two sections of Writing 121). I’ve been teaching in various contexts my whole life — tutoring writing, training pre-press graphics employees, TA-ing seminary courses, TA-ing developmental reading courses, teaching Sunday school classes — but I was never “instructor of record” and all that. I’m amongst 22-year-olds (and older, of course) who are also teaching for the first time. I hope they appreciate how cool this is. I think they do.

Hmm, that reminds me of Sarah Gallup’s teaching reflection paper — the one she wrote as a first-quarter instructor back in Fall 2006. I can’t remember her exact words, but she recounted a moment in the previous summer when she realized she’d be teaching college classes in the coming year, and her thrill was obvious.  And it stuck with me, since I read it last Fall — probably because I could relate. (See here for Sarah’s blog on her adventure as a Fullbright Scholar in France this coming year. Her excitement — this time about this new part of her life — shows up here, too.)

Oops, gotta go! Gotta get to campus and meet with Sara.


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