Purposive Rambling

the journey is the reward.

Teaching is full of surprises.

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3772470003_7690c3676fMost courses in our department are capped at 70 students. And in the past I’ve had somewhere between 65 and 70 each semester. But this time around I am teaching a service-learning course, and because it takes a bit more coordinating, the department capped it at 50 students. But, I actually only have 28 enrolled. And wow. It is so different! When I was putting together the syllabus and preparing lectures I wasn’t thinking about what it would be like to stand in front of the class. I figured I might get a few butterflies before the first class meeting, but it wasn’t that big of a deal. I’d done it before. But I hadn’t done it quite like this. Looking out at only 28 faces is much different from looking out at 68 faces. I love that I can actually see all of their faces – even the ones in the back of the classroom. And I love that I can see if they’re reading the newspaper or talking to their friends or texting. And the smaller class size will make learning their names much easier. However, I can also see that they’re all looking at me! I think because they know I can see them clearly, they know they have to pay attention. So when I look out at them I don’t see any tops of heads that are staring at their desk or off into space or at the cell phone in their lap. Now don’t get me wrong, I think this is great. I want them to pay attention. But it’s a bit intimidating. And unexpectedly intimidating. If anything, I thought a smaller class would be less so than a larger class.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/38117207@N03/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
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Written by Lisa

September 2, 2009 at 10:29 pm

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