Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Students arrive back on campus officially today. We will be more populated tomorrow, however, given that we have more MWF than TTh students given our commuter campus. The weather is a bit iffy this morning but not as bad as it can be. Given that we had no weather-related closings in December, I'm afraid of what January and February holds. Hopefully, students will try to stay safe. With all of our online technology, professors no longer face falling "way behind" unless it is there choice to do so. That is in most cases. I know that when it happens with my teaching methods class at the exact wrong time, we spend a few weeks catching up if it is in the spring semester. With the preponderance of larger projects in that class, missing class because of weather at the end of the semester is less problematic.

We have two grad students who tackled world history head-on. At least one is so energetic that they wanted to switch sections this semester. We tried to advise them that they still had a lot to do to revise what they had only done once and know that later this semester they will be grateful. We are lucky this year since not every year do we have such capable graduate students.

My department chair has given me my assignments of what we need to get done this semester. He is great at delegating and feeling confident that it will all work out. I realize now how much I let other people were glad to let me take all of the responsibility for endeavors that were really supposed to be collectively in support of students instead of an over-reliance on one person to hold up the requirements even when they remained static over the course of several years or even over a decade. It goes back to that concept that you teach people how to treat you. My new chair appreciates and, more importantly, understands how much I do to document how I have helped and supported students in their progress through their degrees and in providing the mechanisms for them to do so. Teacher education programs in the liberal arts are quite a different beast than the BA degree. In the long run it will work better for all of us as students can no longer continue to work their way around requirements that actually do prepare them for what they face ahead. Sometimes they do not realize we are trying to do what is best for them to help them succeed.

Meanwhile, I'm hoping to make it through the anniversaries between now and March 4.


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