Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Beginning of the Semester

And so Monday was the first day of classes for me, although the semester officially began last Friday. I haven't had my once-a-week class yet (that meets tomorrow for the first time), but I am currently ensconced in the second meeting of English 100 (Fundamentals of Writing). 20 students had registered; 12 actually showed up. (I suspect because of Monday being a holiday, more than one student was confused and didn't think classes were being held.) Two students already dropped the class, so I'm down to 18. I kept the class short, handing out the syllabus, course schedule, and questionnaire. (I like to ascertain the students' backgrounds.) The students seem nice enough, and normally I'm not nervous in front of a group - nor in front of a classroom - but I did get hit with a pretty bad case of nerves. In any event, the first class itself went well enough. I took care of the online gradebook for both classes, created a class e-mail list for ENG 100, and got a few things printed out in preparation for today's in-class writing sample (which the ENG 105 students don't have to do, but which is required for ENG 100 students). They're given an entire 75-minute class period in which to write, so while they're busy scribbling away, I'm keeping an eye on them and wondering why only 12 of the 18 registerd students actually showed up. Quite possibly I'm much scarier than I think.

Tomorrow's ENG 105 is a bit of a drive; it's at the Tamaqua campus. Thankfully it's only once a week (ENG 100 is at the downtown Allentown campus, 4.5 miles away, and meets twice a week). Tomorrow the librarian is due to discuss the electronic library workbook all ENG 105 students are required to complete; that'll take at least an hour, after which I'll give them a break before jumping into course requirements and actual material, which may include some in-class writing if there's a lot of time. I'm much less nervous about that class, since I've already taught a comparable class (ENG 16 - Freshmen Composition) at LIU. I modified the syllabus I used in the previous class, but still want to try similar material to see how well it works.

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