I’m teaching a new class this semester and so on the first day I was more nervous than I normally am, but I think it went all right. While I know some students are not excited to be in a writing class, they were all receptive and left me good information about how they view participation in class and what they value about class discussions and group work, along with negative experiences they have had in working in groups. It was a fun, informative session, at least for me. And a few asked good questions along the way. So, I am excited about teaching them already.
One thing I am trying to get away from is my reliance on agendas. Not so much my reliance, maybe, but having these always available to students before, during, and after class. Yesterday, I taught with no agenda displayed during the class, and it all went fine. Granted, I had one in front of me so I knew what was coming up next, but by not having the agenda placed so supremely, if you will, in front of the room seemed to make people pay a little more attention to me and less attention to the words on the document in the front of the room.
And maybe, because I’m a quiet kid at heart, I simply use agendas as distractions. Oh, don’t at me, look at this document I created for all of you! Follow along! I don’t have to explain as much because it is here!
Granted, tomorrow I am going to have to go over their first assignment, so that document will be at the front of the room. They will also need it to complete an activity on audience we will be working on. But my goal is to learn to rely less on agendas and more on my abilities as the teacher in front of the room, leading the class discussions and encouraging the critical thinking of my students.