. . . but here's something that makes up for those complaints
Three of my four classes kicked ass today. And I mean: they seriously
This is good, because on Tuesday three of my four classes were abysmal, and I spent the train ride home depressed and convinced that I just didn't have the time, energy, or possibly the ability to teach these classes--whether because I'm teaching so many of them, or because two of them are entirely new, or because I'm just not a very talented teacher after all.
I made some strategic policy changes in one class, and announced those changes--making clear the responsibilities they placed on my students, and my irritation with them for requiring me to mandate these changes--and they seemed to have an instant effect. In the other two classes, though, I didn't do anything differently. The students were just on today, and seemed to be interested in the texts we were reading (in one case, this came as a total surprise--it's a tough and bizarre work, and one they were completely uninterested in on Tuesday).
And the class that didn't go quite as well? It was the class that did
go well on Tuesday.
Maybe I'll make it through the semester after all.
Dr. Virago commented at 1:56 AM~
convinced that I just didn't have the time, energy, or possibly the ability to teach these classes--whether because I'm teaching so many of them, or because two of them are entirely new, or because I'm just not a very talented teacher after all.
Lecturess, you don't know how good and helpful it was for me to read this. I'm up at nearly 2am because I can't sleep because I've been thinking *exactly* the same thing about my classes today. So that first part made me feel not so alone and stupid. And then to read that it did start coming together for you gave me immesurable hope.
Thanks for that! This is one of the many good things blogs are for!!!!
commented at 11:11 AM~
Yr. Hmbl. & Obdt. commented at 2:14 PM~
At the back of the mind of every academic is the chant "I'm a fraud I'm a fraud I'm a fraud I'm a fraud I'm a fraud"--it's such a constant litany that we forget itis there a lot of the time--and then a lousy day cranks it up to eleven. But it's really just a nervous tic in our collective unconscious--virtually none of us are frauds, and if you've gotten through more than one semester of teaching, you already know, really, that you're *not*. So yes, have those moments--they're good for encouraging humility--but never get disspirited--if your blog is anything to go by, you're funny and wry and clever, and those are the teachers students listen tp, and thus the ones they actually *learn* from. You're good at what you do, I promise. So there.
La Lecturess commented at 8:05 PM~
Thanks, JD and Dr. V. I know that every class has bad days and good days, but for so many bad classes to converge on one day really did have me wondering. I'm definitely not dedicating the time to my classes that I should--I don't HAVE the time that I should--but hopefully I'm doing enough, and hopefully my genuine enthusiasm for all of them will mostly come through (and I realize that I'm blessed, for a lecturer, to be teaching classes this semester that are all more or less in my area of expertise, and that I totally fucking love 97% of what we're reading).
I always feel, though, that I have to make the first three weeks GREAT. Once I've banked some good classes, the rest can be lousy now and again without students really noticing, or at least without their ascribing it to ME.
(That's my theory, anyway, and I'm sticking to it!)