Getting Back on Track


Photo of "Charting Your Course" by Richard Pregent and Anger from "Inside Out."

Toward the end of each semester I get a feeling that I could be doing better at teaching. That thought hit me today. In addition to the COVID pandemic, our college has been without a president for two years. The lack of leadership meant extra inertia with returning to pre-pandemic teaching practices. The interviews for the new president are concluding while I am writing and an announcement of the pick is due to be announced by the end of the day Thursday. With a sense of closure on the COVID era pending, it is time to get back to work.

The largest struggle during the pandemic was online teaching. All of the training I received about online teaching was related to creating course shells in Blackboard and audio-visual technology. Blackboard is not easy to use but I can manage to get around. My hobby is photography and making videos, so I am already comfortable with those. Where I struggle is managing students in an online class. I am aware that there is more to online teaching than babysitting a Blackboard shell, but I do not know what the extra activities should be.

After visiting the library and gossiping with the librarian, I decided to go back to the very basics. Charting Your Course: How to Prepare to Teach More Effectively by Richard Prégent is as close to Teaching for Dummies that I could find. It seems like a quick read so far. It will be worth going through it even through it will cut into my TikTok time.

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