Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Job News & Whatnot

Three weeks between blog posts - that has to be some kind of record.

I've been up to my eyeballs, at least metaphorically speaking, with writing. The past two weeks has been the most difficult of the semester. I have classes three days a week, and the past week or two I had something due every day I had class: Two presentations with accompanying papers and a full-length syllabus for the teaching practicum; journals to catch up on, two drafts to revise, and two full-length essays to write for the creative non-fiction class; and a 16-page paper for the Joyce class. I still have one 10-page paper to write (my last of the semester), but it's not due until next Monday, so I have a chance to breathe a bit. I really felt like I was slammed with writing assignments, and had little time to do all the work justice (especially the Joyce paper).

If I didn't have to sleep, commute, or sit in classes I would have had enough time to write, I tell myself. But everything else is written and submitted, with the exception of that last paper, which I'm not really worried about. Classes officially end today, but the creative non-fiction class decided to meet one last class tomorrow afternoon. A few Sundays ago our class had met in the city for a reading of our work, but between getting started about 20-25 minutes late (because we weren't actually permitted inside the venue until the time we were to start reading; and because people lingered outside), two people from the class (myself and another fellow) didn't actually get to read. I wasn't really interested in reading anyway, but was irritated that I didn't get to read (especially after paying the $7 cover charge); what made it even more irritating was that Chris came to listen and he didn't get to hear me read either. Tomorrow we're planning on having a mini-reading on campus to compensate.

A few weekends ago Chris and I went to PodCamp NYC, which was extremely cool; I wish I could have gone both days but I had too much work to do. (I probably shouldn't have gone at all, but I'm very glad I went.) Much geekery ensued, and there was an education track, and now I'm very excited to start my podcast. Details to be worked out, but I'd like to focus on my experiences as a new teacher and incorporating blogs, podcasts, etc., into the class, with the possible addition of recording the classes I teach and uploading them to the same stream.

I have, in fact, decided to go ahead with the podcast I'd planned to do last year, which is to say I'm going to be creating The New Teacher Podcast. In the theoretically more perfect world I would have been teaching this year in some capacity, but between not finding one and the NYC Department of Education smiting my substitute teacher application for seven months, the podcast was not to be. However, I was officially offered a teaching fellowship for next semester (which will probably extend to a year-long engagement) teaching English 16 - English Composition. I'm very excited to be having my own classroom, and I'm very excited that I will be making that classroom probably one of the most technological on the campus. And in fact, I plan on using my students as guinea pigs for my thesis - something of a case study, although the logistics of that study still need to be ironed out.

Furthermore, the NYC DOE has finally granted me a substitute teaching certificate (as of this past Friday), so I'm officially approved and in their system. Yesterday I went to the DOE, brought along the various forms they requested I bring, got my picture taken, got my I.D. card, and was told how their SubCentral system worked. And throughout the day - already as my first day as a sub, and invariably while I was in class or asleep, and thereby unable to answer the phone - I got close to 10 calls about substitute vacancies today. (Of course, all these calls could have been from the same two or three schools; if one doesn't answer one's phone, the job isn't held. The only thing that would make me happier about this whole substituting hoopla is if there were an open list of jobs available on the SubCentral Web site from which I could pick and choose assignments.

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