September 4, 2014 8:02 AM Subscribe
Can this class be saved?
posted by bookgirl18 to Education (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
So I just (as in, yesterday) began a new part-time teaching job at a small college, which is great news. However, I am already encountering lots of challenges with this position. They are, in a nutshell:
1) The class meets three times a week, for 1 hr and 40 minutes. This is much longer than I have ever taught before. I'm realizing I'm going to have to plan a lot more than I have in the past.
2) The class is remedial writing at a school that is newly 4-year after historically being 2-year. My first day yesterday was ... a mixed bag. There was definitely a lot of texting until I had to yell at them a little to stop. There was even a kid who was like, "why do I have to type my homework? I don't want to" to which I responded something like, "Because you are in college now and we type things when we turn them in. Also because I am your professor and I make the rules. Such chutzpah!
3) There are also some ELL kids mixed in to this class, and they seem bright but terrified and unsure. They definitely should be in a separate class, but the school just isn't equipped for that. I have some ELL teaching experience, but this is a whole different thing.
This is only my second year as a teacher, and first to remedial-level kids. I have always grappled with anxiety and am not great at being strict and scary. I did make my policies clear yesterday and (I think) I handled yesterday's challenges fairly well, without becoming too rattled. I'm not planning to welsh on any of my rules anytime soon. I am working really hard to improve my confidence at being in front of a room of people, but I'm going to have to step it up to solidify my authority over this bunch. People say "Be confident and act like you're in charge!" but practically, I'm not always sure how to do that, especially when that's not my natural inclination. I already feel like I am working hard to be tougher than I feel but it clearly isn't enough yet. Any tips for dealing with these particular challenges and making it go a little more smoothly when I go back in there tomorrow? Save the class while I still have a chance? (I've looked through some old threads and they were helpful but would still appreciate advice for my particular situation.)
Thank you! Y'all are the best.