Out of the rabbit hole…

This semester started slowly, but ended in an all-out sprint to a mirage of a finish line. It’s a mirage because even though classes have concluded, I actually have 12 hours of teaching time next week, in the form of voluntary study sessions for students, and then final exams on the 4th and 6th of December. I won’t actually be finished until the 10th or so. So, maybe the sprint is over and I’m back to just running? I can certainly say I’m not looking forward to marking about 230 exams in the space of a week…

I’m mixing metaphors all over the place here. Out of rabbit holes, running and sprinting. Whatever. Point is, it’s been a long semester and I’m finally emerging from the daily grind to be able to reflect on things a bit. Also prompted by the fact that I’m trying to write up a reflective course narrative for a CDTL workshop later this week.

It was a semester of firsts:

  • My first course with more than 50 students (I had 179);
  • My first time with total enrollment of 200+ (I had 231, plus ISM, HT, and MA students);
  • My first time using digital exams;
  • My first time using the quiz function in the course learning site (IVLE; similar to Blackboard, etc.);
  • My first time teaching two modules, that were brand new to me, at the same time;
  • My first time having to make official accommodations for differently-abled students (which highlighted just how far I have to go to achieve universal accessibility);
  • My first time giving lectures about which I actually felt confident, both about the material and about my delivery;
  • And my first time managing a TA (in any meaningful sense, although I have had one before for a small class).

My goal over the next few days/weeks is to reflect on the term’s teaching, especially as I move into next term, which will be a fairly significant one as I’ll be teaching three modules, two of which will be brand new to me. Just learning how to manage all these modules and students has been tough. But on top of that basic issue, I’m teaching both lectures (potential enrollment from 40-150 combined) and a seminar (25-30), on topics that I am excited to teach but for which I will once again be pioneering entirely new lectures, assignments, and readings.


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