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.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Getting The Feel

As each semester starts, I promise myself I will not make any judgments on my classes for the first couple of weeks. Every semester I fail in keeping that promise. I realize that it is difficult to get a feel for a class so early. I realize that sometimes looks are deceiving, both for good and for bad. This is why I make the promise.

Just like students, however, probably make early judgments on teachers, I make early judgments on students, or at least on the personality of my classes.

My Friday class seems to have the strongest personality. It actually has the fewest number of students, at 11. In previous years, I have found that often times the class with the fewest number of students tends to be the class that is most eager to learn and participate.

I like my Thursday evening class. The problem I noticed (and it has only been one session), is five of the six Japanese students sit together, across the back of the room. From the first class, I got the impression that language and understanding English maybe a problem for them. The sixth exchange student, by the way (also from Japan) sat in the front row and while he indicated he was concerned since English was not his first language, he did seem to have a better grasp on what I was saying.

Then there is the Tuesday-Thursday class, with 23 students. I have not yet gotten a read on this class, and I think it is because it has that many students. Some of them are talkative, which is good. Some of them say they are not intimated when it comes to speaking in public, which is also good (if it is true). Other indicate they are terrified. It has the potential to be a good class but it could also be a difficult one.

Hopefully all three classes will go smoothly. Hopefully they will all be comprised of students who are interested and who want to learn. I am looking forward to, and hoping for, and enjoyable semester.