Teaching as an adjunct can be a lot of fun. It is also challenging. As I have encountered a number of situations, I realize such a blog can be helpful, both to me and to others.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

'Till The End

Tonight I am going to put my PowerPoint Presentation together that I will use for the first day of class, in less than a week. It still does not feel like the school year is around the corner but it better soon or I will be in serious trouble, especially as I get set for the first class.

I know a lot of teachers let students out early that first class session. I learned the hard way that I want to keep them to the end, or close to the end. Filling that time, actually is not difficult as I will go over, in detail, what is acceptable and what is not. The syllabus will be well covered. In addition, I gve them a survey to find out their likes and dislikes. It helps me when I decide to use video tapes from movies to make points and it lets me know how familiar they are with the movies I use. For instance, when I cover gestures and demonstration speeches, I like to use the infamous scene from When Harry Met Sally. By knowing how familiar, as a class, the students are with this movie, I know how much I need to do to set it up.

Whatever it is, I will fill the time. A few years ago, I had a Friday afternoon class, a three hour class. I used to often let them out early but when I wanted to use the whole time, I lost the students around the two and a half hour mark. Yes, they were still in class but most of them were literally just taking up space. I decided from that point on, I would use the entire time provided to me, or most of it and they seldom get out of class early. And I am one of those who feels the first session sets the tone and I need to do it from day one.

Well, here is to another semester knocking on my door.