Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Is it really that time of the term already???

Guess what I found in my mailbox on campus - the Dreaded Faculty Evaluation Packet. It consists of a pack of Scan-trons, a bunch of golf-type #2-pencils, and a large envelope in which to throw the whole lot once the students are done skewering me and/or the course.

Now I have the opportunity to know how it feels like from the other side of the Student-Teacher divide.

It's not as if I've not been evaulated before: when I was a TA, we received student evaluations all the time, and because Clark University was more a teaching uni rather than a research uni, our Teaching Assistantships were contingent upon us receiving a favourable review on our TA'ing performances.

But somehow, this is different. I would hope that I did the students well in the way I conducted the class, despite my misgivings about the Blended Course format. I've been as accommodating as possible, given that all of my students are of the "non-traditional" type (most are older, have full-time jobs, and are supporting families whilst they pursue their studies at night).

I'm going to conduct a Finals Review for the students tomorrow, and decided to make a sort of party out of it. I announced to them I was going to bring food, and the rest of them volunteered to bring food as well. Well, Chemistry and Food, why not. I will have the students fill in their evaluations then, as opposed to having them fill it in after they finish a gruelling 3 hour final exam.

After this, I am scheduled to team-teach Forensic Science 101 with Lt. Chris Hoina of the Cary Police Department and Dr. Jason Mercer, who is a fellow Adjunct Professor. For the Summer term, I will be teaching Chemistry 111 (Chemistry for Science Majors) as well as Chemistry 227 (Organic Chemistry). Looks like it's going to be a rather busy couple of terms for me, as far as my teaching is concerned. But I'm not complaining. Somehow, I have the feeling I've stumbled upon a track that perhaps I've been meant for all along. Teaching on one hand, and doing something totally different (playing the organ at a couple of churches) on the other.

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