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Happy New Year!

posted: 9.12.11 by archived

That’s what my college president says to open our daylong meeting each September, with a Powerpoint slide of blaring party horns and dancing confetti. That sense of renewal and fresh determination, though, is often overshadowed by the frenzy and fatigue of the last-minute details of getting syllabi together and all of the other last-minute preparations (or is that only me?). Partly as a result of having this BITS post to write, I’m taking the time to put in writing some of those New Year resolutions, the things I thought about last April when I realized what I had not done as well as I could have during spring semester but need to remember and reflect on now.
Here’s my list:

  • I want to talk less in class so that students can write more. (See Mike Edward’s inspiring post on “Inverting the Classroom Model.”)
  • When I do talk, I want to address more explicitly the big-picture issues of what’s required for student success (attendance in class, time management, communication with professors). I will ask students for frequent self-assessments, keeping in mind one of my colleague’s claims that a combination greater than 20 hours work + 12 credits should ring warning bells. I will be more prompt in approaching students who seem to be at risk.
  • I’m teaching the first semester of FYC in several formats: two classes f2f; one class that meets one day in a computer lab and the next in a classroom; and one class hybrid, with the vast majority of work done online and only three f2f meetings. It may sound like a vague question, but I want to figure out what I want to know about technology in the composition classroom and then think about how I can go about finding the answers.
  • On a more practical level, I want to try out audio-commenting on rough drafts to see how students like it and whether it can make me more prompt at giving feedback.

I’ll report back on my results come December. How about you? Have you made any resolutions this new year? Please take a minute to jot them down in the comments, for surely writing them down will help them become true.

Categories: Community College issues, Holly Pappas
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