Let the fun begin

Well, I am officially an adjunct instructor. I taught my very first class this week (on my birthday), and I survived. I talked too much, and I probably didn’t use enough active learning strategies, but, all things considered, I think it went fairly well. I have 22 students, and they all participated and seemed engaged!

One of the assignments that I am requiring for the course is… yes, you guessed it!…. a blog! I will admit that I wasn’t crazy about blogging when I had to do it for GRAD 602, but it sort of grew on me, and I really got a lot out of my teaching reflections for GRAD 606. Being forced to think about what you are studying and articulate those thoughts is an effective way to wrap your brain around something. And the articulation part allows the instructor to see how you are processing the course content. I’m a little worried about how much time it will take me to read 22 blog reflections (multiplied by 5 assignments) and provide quality feedback to each student, but two other instructors have been doing it for a few semesters, so it must be do-able.

I have spent the last four hours working on my lesson plan for next week, and I’m still not quite done. I feel a little pressure to post some materials before Monday, but the perfectionist side of me is getting in my way. I am actually having fun figuring out how to present certain topics and finding meaningful examples and activities. My husband went to bed hours ago, but my 8-year-old daughter stayed up with me because tomorrow is a teacher workday, and we can both sleep in. She asked me what I was doing. When I explained that I was working on how to teach my class next week, she got all excited, and said that I just needed to “make learning fun.” She then said she knew exactly how to do that, and she proceeded to make me a list. I think I will share her list with my class!

How to Make Learning Fun, by Amy, age 8

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