Monday, December 27, 2010

No place like home

It has been a month ("how did that happen?" I ask myself) since I wrote, the first gap of that length since I started a blog.  Some of what I've learned:
  • Students absolutely must have the structure imposed by a syllabus, course calendar, and clear assignments.  Otherwise, they will do exactly what I've done this semester and put off whatever does not have a deadline and/or cause some pain (to grade, salary, etc.).
  • It's difficult to balance the demands of ones job with the desires to learn anything not required for the job.  (See previous point.)
  • Though I have enjoyed the challenges of my non-teaching semester, nothing has captured my enthusiasm as much as the recent preparation for teaching.  I have missed this.
  • I do not have to present my course content in the linear format preferred by most academics. The overview and "course calendar" for the Innovation and Creativity course are now in Prezi  so that I could capture as closely as possible the 3x5 cards and sticky notes I used to design the flow of the course.  
  • Everything is (still) connected to everything.  The acquired knowledge about standards, certifications, strategic decisions, data requirements, and other components of sustainable business practices are enriching my preparation for the courses I will teach next semester.
  • Several of the business people with whom I've developed relationships over the past six months are willing (and incredibly capable) guest lecturers in their area(s) of expertise.  Everybody wins.
  • Once you take on a new role, it's hard to give it back; thus, I will juggling more responsibilities next semester than in any previous semester here.  The synergy works, though, at least with careful planning and multi-tasking.
  • I miss being in the classroom.