Monday, January 17, 2011

The First Week

The first week of school is over and the jury is still out on the class I'm teaching. They have been very quiet so I'm not sure of the personality of the class yet.  Hopefully as things get going, they will warm up to me and start talking.  Next week's classes are more discussion based while the first week is a lot of me talking so that should help.

The setting of this classroom is not the best for me to learn names and get to know my students.  There is space down the middle of the room where I pace up and down.  On both sides of me are tables where the students sit, three on each side of the table so no matter where I am in the room, some have their backs to me.  Each student has a computer monitor in front of them, blocking his or her face.  It is hard for me to get a good look at them which is going to make it even harder for me to learn their names.  I feel very distant and separated from them, so I'm going to really focus on getting them to come out from that sense of security that those monitors are providing.   

This is also the first semester where I am teaching a syllabus that I did not entirely create myself.  I can make slight changes to it, but the assignments have to stay the same.  Of course I went over the syllabus, the readings, the assignments, and all those little things before class, but I feel like I don't really know this class like I've known others I've taught. Again, it is just the first week so I know I'm still getting to know the class and the students, but so far I definitely feel like I am teaching someone else's class to a bunch of people I've never met before.   

In other news, I finally have my complete qualifying exam committee. Woohoo!


  1. Congrats on the committee! And good luck with the students, especially in getting them to look up from their damn computers. Are you empowered to tell them to close the laptops for a session or two?

  2. Unfortunately, it is not laptops that I am dealing with, but actually PC monitors! They are there to stay, so I guess I'll just have to make it habit to look for the human faces.