The semester is coming to an end! We had our last meeting yesterday and it felt like it had been forever since I’d been and seen everyone together because the previous week was Thanksgiving break and before then I was sick.
I have learned so much from Abby and the other GTAs this semester. I felt like every week a question was asked that I had wondered about at one time or another, like handling daily participation. Dr. Morse suggested starting with a grade of “100” and detracting for lack of participation instead of trying to tally points up each day. There are so many more of those little tips to help the grading and classroom process go more smoothly that I’ve picked up over the semester.
A few things that I learned that I would change in my classroom compared to what Abby and I did. I don't think we did them "wrong", but I want to make sure to try all options to see what works best.
I am not really sure if my teaching philosophy has changed, so much as grown or become refined and I’m sure I’ll be able to pinpoint that better when I really start teaching. I’m eager to get into the ENGL 2201 classroom in the Spring and hope I’ll be placed with another instructor (other than Abby) so that I can learn from them too. Abby and I got along so well, but the more perspectives the merrier!
I hate pneumonia!
My last day in the classroom was the 31st and I didn’t make it back until Wednesday. It feels like that gap was even bigger than it was. The library day on the 31st was a success. We worked in the North Carolina room, which worked out well. Everything we needed was within arm’s reach. I was surprised that some students did not know what to do once they located a hardcopy book that seemed useful in the online catalog. They didn’t know what the call numbers were or how to use them. That was eye-opening for me. I realized I wasn’t even understanding their questions when they were trying to get me to explain how to get the book. I was basically like...”you...go get it off the shelf???” and I didn’t know they weren’t even at that step yet. If there was anything else significant about that day, I can’t remember it!
I have asked Abby if I can guide students through the upcoming iWebFolio process, so I’m looking forward to that. It can be difficult to get all the little steps right, so I feel pretty good that I’ve learned them and can help students too.
I am happy to say that I’ve connected with two students who had never come to my office before recently (the first came for project 2 and the second came for project 3). Found out that we have a lot in common and share research interests/what we want to do when we grow up.
While talking to the first student, we talked about computers and video games and my brother’s work in Engineering. While talking to the second student, we got to talk about video games, Star Wars, YouTube, writing, and lots of other great stuff. I can really see now how getting to know students just a little more makes me all the more invested in their success in the future. I just want to take them both under my wing, but I know that’s not appropriate. Maybe they’ll stick around and become grad students here, then I can. :)
I also cried yesterday because Cody, who works with me in the UWC and is a new grad student here in the English department, says he wants to be just like me when he grows up. I was actually able to stop myself from self-degradation and just accepted that amazing compliment. So, I did cry in public, but at least I didn’t tell him he was wrong for looking up to me, which probably wouldn’t have been possible just a few months ago. I must prove myself worthy!!!
It was also shocking that my classmates and coworkers have all said they missed me while I was gone. It is hard to imagine that people think so positively of me and acknowledge me as an important human in their lives (even when I am not around). They don’t have to do that. I don’t even do that.
I'm just your average fictional creature, living in a swampland by the sea.