Fall semester 2017 has begun!
There’s a bit of a change for me this time around: I am assistant teaching in two academic writing classes, back-to-back. First I spend about an hour in Intermediate, and then I walk two doors down and spend an hour in Advanced.
It’s pretty great. Both of my lead teachers are off to a solid start, and both of the classes are full of students who are highly motivated to learn the material so they can fulfill their dreams.
First day tidbits from both classes:
- one classroom shares space with a few (computer) servers. I’m amazed at how little I can hear over their low hum.
- both classes faced the usual Day 1 logistics of confusing computer log-ins, a wide range of student computer skills, confused people walking into class either by mistake or 45 minutes late, and the need to set a good tone while going over the syllabus and procuring diagnostic writing samples. It’s good to witness that this is ubiquitous and watch both teachers weather the challenges with grace, and help as much as I can.
- I went to great pains to memorize my recently-updated work password so I could have access to Canvas during the first class. But then I couldn’t remember my username. Oops.
- In both classes, there were a couple of students who particularly struggled with the computer, even down to basic keyboarding. I spoke privately to each of these individuals and recommended that they do free typing practice online every day, starting the very next day. I hope they’ll do it, or else their timed midterm is going to in effect grade their typing skills instead of their English writing skills.
We’ll see what the semester holds!