Some weeks…

Some weeks end up busier than others. And for me, I’ve found that weeks are busier if I want to prepare in-class packets for my students… or if I have an exam to give them. Last week seemed to be one of those.

I have found, during this, my first year of independent teaching, that not all prep times are created equally. Sometimes, I’m wondering if I’m trying to do too much “non-textbook” stuff for my first time out.

Dr. Garbin, in my Psychology 350 class from seven-and-a-half years (!) ago, once said, “In an entry-level position, you don’t get to do all the cool [cuckoo].” I’m starting to see that is actually a valid thing to say.

Especially for me, it seems that I am a little bit of a slow starter. In some sense, I am reliant on having a road map for my first time out. But once I get it, I can roll a lot more easily. With my relative lack of experience, I think I have been trying to improvise too much, and have therefore run into cases where I’ve spent way too much time preparing an example or a lesson plan.

My students seem to need simpler examples, and though I think I’m giving them in class and on the WeBWorK, things do not always go very well on the homework and exams. On the latter, it’s disappointing because I choose at least half of the problems directly from the WeBWorK, and want the exams to be “on the caliber” of the WeBWorK assignments, and definitely easier than the homework assignments.

Then again, maybe I have an overly optimistic view of my expectations and the students’ ability to live up to them.

In order to end this idea on a couple of positive notes, these things are good news for this week which should make it a lot easier:

  • My class for Math-121 is running a lot better after I have run through it one time and seen which of my techniques and explanations fell on their faces.
  • I need to prepare an exam for Math-121, as well as a review packet, but I have a baseline from last semester to cut out a lot of the prep time!
  • Spring break starts on Friday, and I’m going to be in Lincoln from next Sunday to the following Sunday!
  • I’ll be able to pace out job applications too.
  • With no grading until Thursday, I can enjoy the evenings. WHOO-HOO!


Lincoln: 7 days.

פסח: מ”ו ימים (Passover: 46 days).

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