It’s a new year and a new semester. I’m entering the last semester of my probationary period, and I find myself thinking almost constantly about ways to improve my workload, approach, and reflective practice. But you can’t change everything all at once (and I’m definitely trying to undo a terrible baby-with-the-bathwater habit of redoing my courses every semester), so here are five things I intend to work on in my teaching practice in 2012.
- Saying no. I am so bad at saying no. So bad, in fact, that I don’t think I have said it since I got hired. I love all the new things I get to do and I value the sense that I’m already an integral member of the department. But! I’m really approaching the point where I will not be able to do things well. My philosophy throughout grad school was that everything gets done in time, and it’s always been true, but something pays the price — my own mental health, usually, but soon it could be the final product. So! More no in 2012!
- Use this blog for more frequent reflective practice. I won’t pretend I can adhere to a schedule — you all know I can’t! — but I really want to work on remembering what a helpful resource this site (and all of you!) have been for me.
- Read more pedagogical theory. I’m going to find two books to read over my non-teaching semester. Suggestions are welcome! I’m especially looking for writing about teaching close reading skills and about teaching literature in a hybrid environment. Or else a book on threshold concepts, maybe.
- Grade early and often. I procrastinate way too much on grading and I think I’m causing myself far more stress than is strictly necessary. I’ve set a really reasonable schedule so far this semester, but only if I actually adhere get the grading underway as soon as the assignments come in.
- Down time! I’m trying to schedule Tuesday nights for non-work time (only possible because I don’t teach Wednesdays). Maybe I can get through this semester without an entire back 9 of Glee and Castle to watch at the end of it.
Do you dare to resolve? If so, let me know in the comments!