16 December 2009

Fall 2009 ~ Teaching Reflection

Well, today is my last day of work for the year. I've been thinking alot about this semester and how it's gone and just sort of thinking about the madness of being me. I can't believe how fast the past 17 weeks have flown by and while some days the semester dragged, at least it's over.

I started a new job in August as the interim program director for the ISU athletic training program. This position landed in me in what felt like a million meetings. All of the sudden, my free time was gone. I couldn't leave work when I was done working because I never felt like I was done working. This is one of those jobs where you actually take your work home with you. I actually lost sleep this semester because alot of the stuff I was involved in required lots of thinking time. I wasn't able to focus on my teaching as much as I would have liked because I was dealing with lots of piddly administrative stuff that takes up way too much time. I wasn't able to get involved with the different organizations on campus because of this time commitment. I did, however, decided that being an administrator is not really for me and that I'm much happier working as a clinical coordinator.

I spent ALOT of hours working on my teaching portfolio for a University Teaching Award that I was nominated for. I was named as a finalist (1 of 5), but didn't receive the award. It was definitely an experience trying to put all of my teaching experience from the past five years into one document. The document ended up being over 60 pages and was not a even sort of fun experience, but it's done and will definitely go into my dossier for performance evaluations in February.

I'm trying to think of some of the highlights of the semester and I'm having a hard time coming up with some, which is a little sad. However, I will say this... I've had the opportunity to teach some pretty incredible students. I've received lots of compliments from my students regarding my teaching and my willingness to work with them. I've learned that some of my students come from incredibly challenging backgrounds and they are doing wonderful things here at ISU, in spite of those challenging backgrounds. I've also earned the respect of several of my colleagues and I will say that makes me smile.

I think that mostly I've learned that I truly love teaching. I'm not an administrator. I'm not into the piddly stuff that takes up my time. I've missed being able to go to Yoga Wednesday or to head out for a long ride on the bike in the afternoon. I've missed being able to attend teaching workshops and to really reflect on the different things that I can do better or change in my courses.

I guess I can say that I'm relieved the semester is over. I'm ready to head to UT to spend time with my fiance and loved ones. I'm all set to come back in the spring and teach a bunch of new courses. Oh and I'm totally looking forward to planning my wedding. Only 171 days left...