Monday, December 1, 2008

New Month, New Semester

It's hard to believe that today is December 1st. Not only because of the fact that three months have gone by since I've been here, but also because of the weather. I look at the calendar and my eyes don't believe the date. The weather has remained the same, and my body is just used to the New England winter kicking in right about now. The climate here might be a little crazy, but at least we won't be going through any Nor'easters.

Another strange thing is that today started the second semester for me at the university. I teach 7 week intensive courses, so after a week of finals and another week of vacation, I'm now back to the grindstone. I'm excited though. Vacation was nice, but it's also a welcome relief to get back into a bit of a routine. I found myself a bit nervous last night as I thought of what to prepare for my class and what the students might be like. Also, I was never told with any confidence my schedule or levels, so I had to assume it was the same.

As it turns out, the schedule is the same, but the 4th and 5th levels have switched time slots. I'm even in the same class rooms, which is nice because there's a familiar feel to them. The afternoon (4th level) class gave me a bit of a surprise, however. I had planned on starting the class at Module 4, where the same level started last semester. After going through a spiel about the rules I told the students to open up to the first page of Module 4. The students told me that they had already gone through Module 9, however, and I had no knowledge of this.

With nothing to teach, I let class out an hour early and went to the office to talk to my director to find out exactly what I had to teach. When she showed up an hour later we discovered that the course had been changed, but no one told me about it. I was now supposed to start everyone at Module 9. Because I'm also doing Level 5, it's the same lesson planning. So in the end, I'll only need to make one lesson plan a day, which will save me a lot of time.

I was a little bummed that I would have to start over with new students because I'd spent so much time investing in the last classes, but I was happy to find that my night class still has a few of the old students. They were very happy to see me because they'd requested that I be their teacher again. As I explained the rules and the fines to the new students, the old ones laughed and nodded their heads. They're old timers now.

So it feels good to be getting back to work and to still have some of my students from last semester. With any luck, I'll be a better teacher this semester and do a better job with the material I have.

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