I’m teaching 320 students this coming semester in two mega sections. This is double last semester. I’m loving the way large classes are challenging my pedagogic approach and make the time I invest in teaching prep feel much more meaningful and important.
For other professional reasons I’m going to need to produce a new Educational Philosophy this semester. The problem is the one I first drafted back in 2007 (I think), has been so well received that it has never in the last nine years or so seemed worth my effort to substantially update it. I never meant it to be static, programmatic statement, but it has become such. I need to update my teaching portfolio. I’ve leaned on this ‘original’ too long.
My classes are prepped, the students divided into teams (8 students per team, 20 teams per class), the internal websites are up and running. It’s time to give some attention to the mentoring program I’m running this year, think about applicants to our PhD program, figure out when I’m going to have time to tackle this educational philosophy task and my teaching portfolio in general, and then get back to writing that presentation for Boulder the first weekend in March. (I shouldn’t have started thinking about my longer to do list. Arg…)
Anyway. Why is all of this here? Well, this blog is about keeping me on target and loosening up my writing when I get stuck. Academic writing is going really well these days, only limited by my other time commitments. This damn ‘philosophy’ has been being avoided and kicked down the road. So I’m going to start brain storming about it here.
A list of random things that should be in my new E.P.:
- How I approach technology
- Why I believe in ‘extra credit’
- How I address issues of diversity and privilege (my last one is all meritocracy/stars in my eyes/warm fuzzies on this stuff)
- How teaching intersects with my research
- Why I like large sections
- What my teaching challenges are and how I may address them
- My obsession with transparent pedagogy, communicating WHY I do what I do.
Okay. That gives me some stuff to kick around in my brain and ideas for individual posts.
Don’t worry we’ll be back to coins and Rome soon, but my life demands I work on some other stuff as well.