It never ceases to amaze me that each section of the same course is so different from the next. The paradox and necessary schizophrenia of teaching (and parenting for that matter) is precisely this: 1) We must do the same thing repeatedly and expect different results and 2) By the time we figure out what might have worked, the context changes and we’ve got to move on to the next with or without the benefit of relevant experience.
Today I met the other two sections of students in ENG 098. The later section has the oldest group of students in it. The earlier section had more participation but less spontaneous commentary than yesterday’s students. The good news is I’ve had more students come to the office in two days than in all of last semester, and I’ve remembered to ask each for hints on how they learn best. The bad news is half the last class came equipped with the wrong textbook and yesterday the computer was down so I couldn’t use any of the bells and whistles I’d prepared.
This evening, having opened an extra credit board on the subject, I stayed at office late and listened to the State of the Union address taking notes from it while doing a little catch up data entry. I created a course roster with contact information of shape preferences for each class. Puppies call and 5 a.m. Intercessory Prayer resumes tomorrow.