I had class at 2pm instead of 10 today, because I asked to cancel the Hope High class after no one showed up on Thursday. So I had plenty of time to prepare for today’s lesson: Frog Dissection. I got up on time, and got to the computer, but instead of preparing for the lesson I spent the morning fiddling with my ‘productivity system’ (Hah!) and preparing photos for uploading from our honeymoon.
I don’t get really started on a worksheet until 1300, and I only get through the first part by the time I have to race to class to show up 2 minutes late.
Class itself was OK, I felt, and I’ve now a much better idea how much we can do in how much time. I was called into the office afterwards, something that never fails to fill me with dread no matter how many times it happens. My boss explained that I needed to be there for the whole class, that I needed to make sure my materials were copied/prepared, provide better instructions to the volunteers, and grilled me on how the rest of the class was going to go.
It reminded me of how fucking angry I was at my BIO 102 professor for never photocopying the notes he handed out to us before class – which means class always started 30 minutes late. Whenever I find myself doing something that really pissed me off when someone else did it, I feel a strong combination of anger and shame. Being embarrassed reminded me of the last time I was embarrased, when I stumbled through an inarticulate description of the nature of complexity in front of some very understanding high school students. My slide show failed to transfer to the laptop, so I just talked off the top of my head. No wonder they didn’t bother to show when I said I’d take them on a field trip.
The morals are clear.
- I should have at least one class in the can at all times.
- Teaching a class is like writing a column. I should have all materials written/created, inventory requirements drawn up for at least three classes into the future.
- I only get until midnight.
- All of my materials for the next class must be accounted for before the day of the class begins.
- Don’t waste people’s time
- Both the kids and the volunteers are giving their time to me. I need to give them explicit instructions occupying the entire time they’re working with me.
- Don’t trust machines
- Always have one printout of whatever I’m doing.
- If I don’t know, I ask
- If I am unsure about dates, times, budget, anything, I keep asking people until I get a firm date.
- Write It Down
- Any time someone says something relevant to the logistical aspects of my class I need to record the date, location, who is telling me this, and the statement.