Wednesday, July 20, 2005

TA Training and goals

I just made a note for the TA Training workshop--I am going to ask the TAs to list 5 goals for the semester. So what are mine?

1. A talkative, engaged class. I know I can't control this one entirely, but last year my 110 was pretty quiet (one student consistently talked), whereas the year before I had good distribution. Work pretty hard on this one.
2. Coach more, instruct less. I feel like my teaching is getting more and more directive, and my comments less supportive and encouraging. I need to get back to coaching.
3. Share more. This relates to #1: my goal is to ask student to produce writing that other students might want to read (reviews, memoirs), and I hope that sharing more leads to a class that knows each other better / well.
4. Meet with students more. I have dropped back to one conference the last few years, but I think 2 might be in order.
5. Discuss more. Another variation on the same thing, I suppose, but as I have gotten more directive and and more specific in my teaching, I have taken away from the discussion element. I still remember a student who said to me my first fall "I like how we sit around and discuss philosophy." I just haven't made much room for that the last few years. I probaby could stand to tell more stories, too--as long as they are good ones!

Oh, and maybe to add a bit of diversity, I want to get more music into the class: a course soundtrack, more playing of and discussing music in class, etc.

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