Friday, December 07, 2012

Things to remember for next time

(Notes to myself)
Stop assigning real work (especially an entirely new text!) on the last day of class. Really. Stop doing that.

If you must assign real work in one class, then for the love of God don't do it in multiple classes.

Student research presentations are actually, legitimately awesome.

You'll be embarrassed to be so surprised at how confident, funny, and sincere your students can be when they're running the show--and how generously they engage with each other's work.

Don't sit with your head so close to the wall during student presentations. When one of them starts doing a funny bit and cracks everyone up, you will throw your head back and bang it into the wall. The extremely hard classroom wall.

Giving yourself a mild concussion is no way to end the semester.


Miriam said...

#1 is key (although I had to do it in my British novel course--there was no way to finish POSSESSION otherwise). Everybody is tired and wound-up about finals. I always reserve the last day of the semester for final exam review, and leave it at that.

Comrade Physioprof said...


undine said...

Concussion: Ouch!
Presentations are awesome, and the students learn from them, too.

ntbw said...

Actually, what surprises me about student presentations is how truly terrified so many of them are to have to "get in front of everyone." I am talking shaking hands, sweating, flushing--clear and real distress. This for a 10 minute presentation for which they have weeks to prepare, and for which they can use whatever notes or text they like. I always have the secret hope the experience gives them a bit more respect for what their professors do, "getting in front of everyone" all the time. Of course, in my own case, I am a total thwarted actress and love nothing more than having the spotlight, so I don't mind being in front of people at all!