Tuesday, January 8, 2008

First Day of Class ... !!!

Well, I did it. The first day of my taking over a Lecture Course, solo, has passed. I didn't have the students do much, really - we just went over the syllabus, showed them the features in Blackboard, and pointed out some areas that the students will need to pay close attention, gave my one hour lecture on Chapter 1, which is an introductory chapter anyway, and then after giving them a 15 minute break, launched right into a Lab Safety Orientation, sufficiently scaring them into remembering Common Sense whilst working in a Chemistry Laboratory.

After having them answer a few questions and sign a statement saying they read and understood the Safety Statements and such, I sent them on their way. The kids were out by 7.15 p.m. I told them I won't be as nice next time, but that the amount of time they stay in class on any given day will be dependent on how efficient they are whilst working on their experiments.

And that was that. I still feel like I need to take myself down a couple of notches - even with the introductory material I fed the students earlier this evening, they still gave me looks which told me I'm speaking over their heads.

Sigh. Teaching is not as easy as one would think. But hopefully, I got them thinking about the interesting Adventures in Chemistry that I hope to provide them this term.

The biggest challenge: trying to squeeze in what should be a 14-week semester course into an 8-week half-term. Considering the oodles of time allocated (8 hours/week, inclusive of actual and virtual time), theoretically, it should be no problem. It's the virtual bit that I think will be the challenge, as Intro Chem has traditionally been a face-to-face class.

We'll see what happens ...

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