- Syllabus. I know--we have to do this, but if it's not also enjoyable, why am I taking so much time with it? What kinds of assignments? How many will there be? When will papers be coming in so I'm not snowed under by my own lack of planning?
- Thinking about grading. Since I don't actually have to grade anything right now, I find myself thinking about things like essay commenting programs (like eMarking assistant, which Peter mentioned in the comments to the previous post, or Markin, or just the tried-and-true autotext), contemplating rubrics, and setting up Excel gradebooks for the semester.
- New books. I ordered some different editions for this spring's classes, and while I'll probably regret it down the line, there's something energizing about marking up a new text for teaching.
- New pens in different colors. New ink for fountain pens. New notebooks.
- Folders that will soon be a sorry, dog-eared mess of ill-assorted papers but that right now sport neat labels that promise all kinds of order and efficiency.
- Checking the rosters and seeing if any students have taken classes with me before.
Monday, January 04, 2010
The toys of teaching
They don't have to be shiny, these toys. I'm talking about the little enjoyable preparatory steps that you mess around with when you're planning classes. Since there's no weight to them yet (grading, prepping class), they really are kind of fun.