Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Free at last .... to worry about next semester

Well, this afternoon is the final exam for this semester. Not too many students have availed themselves of the opportunity to turn in the essay early via email, so I'm expecting to see quite a few in person this afternoon.

Ever since our trip to Costa Rica, I have been fantasizing about my Christmas break. A whole month off! Classes done by Dec. 7! I imagined myself taking the time to relax and enjoy the season.

I know this will surprise no one who knows me, but I haven't been as relaxed as I'd hoped—so far, anyway. There's plenty of holiday-related errands and chores to do. But mostly I am getting worried about being prepared for next semester. I've felt like this semester, I was always working so hard to stay one step ahead of the students because I got hired at the last minute. I promised myself I wouldn't ever let that happen again, and that next semester I would be better prepared.

And yet .... so far, I haven't found much time to get ready for next semester. I'm teaching two new classes (new to me, anyway), so that means entirely new syllabi and texts and quizzes and exams. All of which is in a very early state of preparation. Suddenly, this vast break is starting to look a lot shorter and more crowded.

But, I need to keep in mind that the worst-case scenario is that I'm staying up late a few days before the semester starts to finish my syllabi and get them to the copy center for the first day of class. Just like I was this semester. But even if that happens, I will still be better prepared than I was last semester. Because now I will have the experience of teaching and creating lesson plans and the reassurance that I do know more about this whole process than I gave myself credit for a few short months ago. So, even in the worst-case scenario, I'm still better-prepared than I was for this semester. And that's a relief to know.

No comments: