Sept. 2, 2021
It is the end of my second week of teaching at WIU - my first year in grad school and my first time teaching. The first day was rough! Really rough! But each teaching day since has been a learning experience. Today was my first class period where I actually taught for the full 75 minutes! yay!
I'd talked with Matt after Tuesday's class about my frustrations with not being able to teach for the whole time, concluding that it likely had a lot to do with the fact that participation was very low. He gave me some ideas, besides calling on students, to help increase participation. Primarily, he said it would be a good idea to give them time to write down their thoughts and then call on them. He explained that if they've written something own, it's harder for them to back out of sharing when asked. I put this suggestion into practice today - and it worked! I still didn't have volunteers, but I was more confident calling on students knowing they'd have something to contribute.
Another thing I changed about class today was in my lesson planning worksheet. Instead of listing an amount of time for each activity, like 10 minutes, I put the actual time, 9:30-9:40, and that helped me keep a better pace all the way through class.
Something else I'm a bit discouraged about at the end of this second week involves a few of my students. Two are not attending and not turning in homework. Another student keeps showing up on zoom, even when it is her day to be in class - and she refuses to turn on her video feed. I called her name a couple times today and asked her to turn on her video, but she did not. And I'm pretty sure she's logging in and then going back to sleep because today at the end of class, I left zoom open for several minutes, a little over five minutes, and she was still logged on. I called her name two or three times, and she did not respond. I talked with Matt about this issue, and he said to go ahead and mark her absent for the last two class periods. I will email her today as well.
Last night I sent emails to the students not attending or turning in work to let them know they may need to consider switching to ENG 100 if they feel they can't commit to this class. One responded saying she would come to see me after class today, but she did not, and she did not sign in on zoom today either. I'll email them again today.