Ten months ago was when I had most recently taught a class. But that was by Zoom, of course. As was my teaching in the previous summer. So it has really been almost three years since I’ve taught a live class, in person and face to face! Yesterday was my first day back.
Unsurprisingly, I had some worries about what this would be like. Would the natural rhythm and pacing of teaching a class come back to me? What would the students be like? Would they all be distracted by screens?
Well, I have good news and bad news. The good news is all on the people front:
- Yes, the natural rhythm and pacing of teaching a class came back to me immediately and effortlessly.
- The students were great: kind, positive, hard-working. (We always start with a four-hour “boot camp,” and most of the students stayed and worked right through the breaks, which of course we offered them and encouraged them to use.)
- No, they were not distracted by screens. They all put their phones away without argument, and used their iPads as directed.
So what’s the bad news?
The human skills of teaching all came back to me, but we had too many tech glitches. Back in 2020 it had taken me several hours to get used to Zoom, which I finally mastered. Now I had to face an unfamiliar Smart Board, incorrect file permissions, YouTube videos without sound, YouTube videos without any image, files in the wrong folder on Canvas, students who couldn’t even get into Canvas for one or another technical reason, and so forth.
But we’re getting all those issues ironed out. I am optimistic for the summer.
Categories: Teaching & Learning