I’ve been trying to write for a few days, but my mind has been everywhere but in the right place to construct a blog post that anyone (including me) would ever want to read. My mental to-do list has become so lengthy that I can’t even make myself consider it. A few weeks ago, I started a paper list and stopped….it was just too overwhelming. Alas, my personal life has become as chaotic as my work life. Who is to blame for this situation? Me. Of course, me. Who else?
I may not have announced to the world that I got that teaching job I interviewed for. Come August when fall term starts, I’ll officially be Dr. KYLady, IT instructor at a community college. Oh, but don’t get your hopes up, I can’t quit the corporate job yet. Teaching one class the entire fall term pays little more than enough to cover our house payment for one month. I’ll be working two jobs until I build up some experience for my resume. It’s OK…it’s a step in the right direction, a stepping stone to a new career.
To prepare myself for this teaching job, I enrolled in a MOOC at Coursera.org. It’s called University Teaching 101, an online course designed for graduate assistants who are going to teach college-level courses without any teaching experience – people like me. It’s been great so far. I’ve learned a lot, primarily that planning which concepts to teach and what order to teach them is a lot harder than I thought it would be.
We learned about learning styles and the importance of identifying what my students’ and my own preferred learning styles are. A teacher will most likely prefer to teach the way she prefers to learn. This is not be a good thing for her students because they will represent a variety of learning styles. So, we were invited to take two learning style assessments to learn about ourselves. I was not too surprised by the outcome of these tests. I was pretty much middle of the road on the continuums of active – reflective learner, sensing – intuitive learner, and sequential – global learner. But on the continuum of visual – verbal, I am on the visual pole. I’ve always known I don’t listen well. This is my proof…it’s not just my imagination. Even at work, when somebody calls with a problem and wants to explain it to me, I will usually cut them off and ask them
to share their desktop with me, to show me the problem.
Fortunately for me, the class I’m teaching will be online. I will do a lot of reading and writing, but very little speaking/listening to students…unless they want to call me.
When I was in school, I was a good student (except for 7th grade….and I have no idea what happened that year). By good student, I mean I got good grades and didn’t cause trouble. It’s a miracle because what I remember most about school (at least until my last few years of high school), was that I never seemed to know what was going on or when things were due. I sat in my chair and stared out the window, or scribbled in my notebook, or read ahead if we had books open in front of us. It must have been very boring, but I liked school. It was very predictable, and my teachers were nice to me.
Even as an adult, Someone and all my kids will say I never listen to them. That’s a little bit exaggeration, because of course I listen sometimes. But, I do remember a few times when Sarah and Emily were toddlers. They climbed up on my lap, put their little hands on both sides of my head and put their face inches from mine to command 100% of my attention. Was I really that bad? Apparently so.