A couple of weeks ago, I attended a teachers’ professional development session where the lecturer told us “I’ve been teaching for a decade and I’ve never had a bad day. I’ve had tough days, I’ve had stressful days, but I’ve never had a bad day.”
Although I can’t make the same claim, I feel like I’ve been hitting a home run every class this semester after two years of hit and miss and trial and error.
These days, I’m actually making grammar fun and my students really are LEARNING. Nonetheless, I know that I have much to learn and that my classes could be even better, much better. So I’m taking some night classes to learn to teach adults. Currently, I’m enrolled in one course called Instructional Delivery that I hope will help me develop a better learning experience.
As part of the course, students must complete a big assignment. I’ve decided to write a weekly blog reflecting on what I learn each week. I hope, by reflecting on each class this way, that I will enhance my own learning experience but also pass on some of my new knowledge to anyone else who reads this blog.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned so far is not an intended outcome of the course (TEAD 3). Last week, I failed to do my homework. I was so overwhelmed by outside stresses that I completely forgot to do the work. It also didn’t help that I didn’t write down the assignment in class when it was assigned (I forget just about anything that I don’t record).
The next day, my office administration students were to hand in their first assignments. One young man came up to me looking sheepish. He had forgotten to do his homework; it had completely slipped his mind. Normally, I don’t give students breaks, but I recalled how I had completely forgotten about my own homework the night before. I told him if he submitted his assignment by 4 p.m. that day I would accept it, but that there would be no more breaks. Then I told him I had made the same mistake the day before.
What did I learn? I’m not sure if the lesson is over on that one, but this assignment was more about helping students to become familiar with the college’s communications tools (email, WebCT, and typewritten memos) than business writing. It was about getting used to being in school. I believe the assignment served its purpose for that young man.
So I think I learned my lesson and I believe that young man did too.