I’ve completed 3 semesters in my teaching career now. Four, if you count the summer class I taught last year. At any rate, I’m starting to feel more like a pro that’s been doing this for awhile.
This semester, I taught my regular stable of Fall classes: Anatomy & Physiology (A&P) I, A&P II and Principles of A&P. These are courses I’ll be teaching every Fall, unless we need to shift things around due to the number of students heading in. This coming Spring, I’ll teach A&P I again in a double-size class. I’ll also teach A&P II, which is normally a Fall-only class, but because of scheduling conflicts this past semester, we’re going to offer it again. The newbie will be Environmental Science, which I’ve never taught but am looking forward to. It’ll be a bit more discussion-based than what I’ve taught thus far, allowing a bit more flexibility in how I approach the material.
The main reason I write this, however, is because I feel like I’m finally getting things down into “well-oiled machine” mode. I didn’t feel nearly as stressed out this Fall with getting my final grades completed and turned in. I think I had my three classes turned in before most of the rest of the department did. This is likely due to the consistency between last year and this year, where the grades for most of the exams were nearly identical (within 0.1% of last year’s averages). There were some differences (the Final didn’t go as well this time…), but for the most part, everything this semester went very similarly to last semester, making it a bit easier to chart out the course of the past few months, knowing how things would ultimately end up.
Now, I’m off for another 3 weeks before school starts up again in mid-January. I’ll have Meg home with me for 2 weeks while she’s off from Kindergarten, so that’s something of a change from last year. Calvin will hang out with us for a few days in there as well, but he’ll be back full-time around when Meg goes back, leaving me with a little prep time by myself for the upcoming semester. Effectively, I’ve got most of my semester plotted out already (because they’re classes I’ve not only taught before, but just taught this past semester), but Environmental Science is a wild card that should mix things up a bit. I’d like to try and set it up with a series of “debates” that the students carry out (for example, “pros” and “cons” of the most recent international climate agreement), but as I haven’t actually taught the class before and that’s an activity the other professors who teach it aren’t doing, I figure I should get my feet wet before trying something like that.
Still, I’m looking forward to trying something new. Before then, I’ve got some Christmas Break to enjoy!