Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Friday, September 2, 2011

First Classroom Lecture Report

Well, I've survived the first day! Actually, it wasn't so bad. I started out with a PowerPoint that covered the course objectives and syllabus. There was a lot of information regarding TAs, labs, lab rooms, etc, that didn't want to skip and so even though I dislike PowerPoint, I went along with it.

I tried to reiterate the relevant stuff about 3 times so hopefully some of it sank in. I got a few laughs at my jokes that seemed at least mostly genuine. Probably the best part of the PowerPoint portion of class was when I reviewed the Academic Honesty Policy with them. I told them this is something profs babble about on the first day and then most students don't think about it again. But for me, as a prof, if I suspect someone has cheated, it's about 20-30 hours of insane paperwork and meetings that I would gladly go through walking barefoot on hot coals if it meant dragging down a cheater. The class got very silent about that for a few minutes as I paused to let that sink in.

One student was brave enough to ask if I was serious and I responded by smiling gleefully and saying "Yes". I think they got the message.

The only other things to report on are that the students (being seniors) are a rowdy bunch and the room was over 85 degrees, which is too hot to teach. After the PowerPoint, I had to roll up my sleeves and loosen my tie for the Chalk'n'Talk section (GMP's phrase, not mine). The few undergrads that I have met prior to the class which are department helpers mentioned to me after that they thought the class was very good. So some initial praise was nice.

I only covered about 40% of the material that I wanted to cover but that's ok because I don't have set material to cover for the course (since it's labs/projects). That also means I have lecture 2 done so I'm ahead of the game. :-D

All-in-all, it was fine. My nervousness and sleepless nights seemed all for naught, although I didn't sleep again last night and I might have a fever so that could be the reason why I'm not sleeping...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

First Day of Teaching!!

Well, the time has finally arrived! In about 20 minutes, I will enter into my first classroom as an assistant professor. I've had to rip up labs and course planning twice in the last week alone, but I think I might be good to go. 

I don't really feel too nervous because  I've given plenty of talks/presentations/one-off-lectures before. However, I get this spider sense that I'm just completely missing something that I was supposed to do. Also, I'm teaching seniors so presumably they'll be able to smell bullshit from a mile away.

When I started blogging back in February, September seemed so far off but now that it's here, I'm actually glad. I've had 3 sleepless nights but after the first day, I'll probably finally get some rest.

I'll report back with how it went later. Wish me luck!