They haven’t really hit yet. I just e-mailed my syllabi, five minutes ago, and I’m sure they will start coming very soon.

I checked dates, to avoid conflicts with events in those parts of my life that do not involve teaching, and to avoid pile-ups of papers from different classes, and so I’m not giving a quiz on Easter Monday; but what may I not have thought of?

I listed readings in primary texts, but not critical readings (those will be in the excessively details reading schedule; the syllabus is supposed to be an overview of topics, and I put in page numbers to make creating the detailed schedule easier). Will I regret this?

I always feel conflicted about whether the paper syllabus should be a covers-all-eventualities booklet or a short-and-sweet basic intro with details on Blackboard. It usually winds up somewhere in-between, with a statement about the online syllabus being authoritative, so I can add any crucial policies I haven’t thought of. Cell phones, for instance; I haven’t said anything specifically about them, though I have a general statement about responsible, respectful behavior that can be made to cover a multitude of sins.

Last term my students were generally serious, responsible people who didn’t require a legalistic syllabus. I do hope this trend continues.

Tomorrow I have to do a lot of scanning and Blackboarding, and Monday we start, and where are my two hours a day of research? Syllabi, assignments, grading rubrics, quizzes: these take time. I do have some items to tweak and recycle from past semesters, but teaching doesn’t stand still. (My parents never understood this: they believed that lecturing-from- yellowed-notes stereotype.) This may also have to do with the distinction between college teaching and university teaching. I try to find some ways of letting my research into the classroom, but it takes a lot of scaffolding to present even a small research insight in a way that works for my students.

Updated to add: yep, the syllabus for my grad class claims it meets at the same time and place as the undergrad class. Not actually true, just a cut-and-paste problem. I hope this will be the only problem.

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2 thoughts on “Afterthoughts

  1. OH I have to do syllabi. Finish them. Thanks for reminding me, I have my head in the sand, I am trying to get unstuck on research but I must now get fully functional in all areas of life!

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