Journal: Easy Writing and Confusing Computers

Students: 12

One thing that went well:  We’re on our second big writing project, and this one is much easier for the class.  They’re writing letters.  I think it’s more concrete than just an opinion piece, so it’s less nerve-wracking, less academic, and possibly more useful.  Note to self: start with this one next time.

One thing to improve:  I’ve kind of stopped writing the daily plan on the board (i.e. 1. writing, 2. reading, 3. computers), but I think I should start again.  I just think it’s better to give the class a bit of a road-map of where we’re going on a given day.

One surprise:  The computer lesson.  Today’s topic was judging Google results.  I stated the goal (to judge Google results).  I demonstrated.  I checked for understanding.  We repeated the goal together.  The class had a sparsely-worded assignment to refer to.  But it turned out that a few people still had no idea what we were doing.  I discovered this when they emailed me answers that had nothing to do with judging Google results.  Sigh.  I shouldn’t have been surprised – my less tech-savvy students were the most confused ones.  Leveled computer classes, please!

My Current Weekly Teaching Routine

I am currently working as an adjunct English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) instructor through two different colleges.

Daily Schedules

I teach Level 1 / Multilevel / Registration in the mornings from 9 – 12 Monday – Thursday about 25 minutes Northeast of my home.

I teach Intermediate 2 in the evenings from 6:30 – 9:30 on Mondays and Wednesdays about 30 minutes due North of my home.

This adds up to 18 hours of in-class teaching per week including two split-shifts per week.

Other Responsibilities

Though my preparation time varies, I feel confident saying that I’ve put in at least 6 hours per week.

Because I work for two different organizations, I have two different clunky work webmail systems to check (because I don’t want to bombard my regular email with forwards of all of the clutter that goes to my work inbox).

I’m also responsible for attending two separate sets of pre-semester trainings to attend three times a year.  One organization pays me a stipend for the trainings, and I honestly can’t remember if the other one does or not (OK mom, I’ll check up on that soon.)

Outside of work, I’m also committed to volunteering at a hospital once a week in the afternoon/evening, and I also try to exercise with a group of friends once a week in the early evening.

How the Split Shift Works

Anyway, given the locations of my two teaching sites, on Mondays and Wednesdays I leave the house by 8AM and don’t return until about 10:15PM.  It just doesn’t make sense to me to add an hour of driving to my day when I can camp out in a nearby library to rest and work between classes.

I literally pack a cooler on Mondays and Wednesdays so that I can bring my lunch and my supper with me without it getting funky sitting in the car all day.  I have a backpack full of materials for my evening class and a tote bag full of materials for my morning class.  Between all that and my purse, water bottle, and umbrella, I look pretty intense marching into the public library to camp out for a few hours.

How’s it Going?

So far it makes for weeks that fly by.  I also really don’t have the option to do much mid-week planning because I tend to arrive home quite tired.  Meals are planned and mostly cooked on the weekends.  I’m excited to be heading out of town next weekend (it’s going to be awesome!), so this weekend will need to involve planning for the coming week and the one after.  We’ll see how it goes!