Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Her Royal Highness, Miss Professor Doctor Becky

That should be what my students call me, don't you think? The "doctor" part would be a complete lie, unless, of course, I'm somehow a Time Lord but have no knowledge of it. I suppose the part implying that I'm royalty wouldn't be correct, either.

I think I'll just go with Ms. Robison.

We continued teacher training today. I'm now feeling less like my students are going to murder me, and more like their parents might. Thankfully, FERPA has my back as far as grades are concerned. As for what exactly I choose to teach in class, I suppose I'll just have to bounce it off my fellow teachers to determine whether or not it could possibly be construed as even remotely offensive.

Note to parents: when your child is in college, your child is no longer a child, but rather an adult. Or something close to an adult, at least. Enough of an adult for you to back away from their education, even if you're paying for it. I'm sorry to break it to you, but it's true.

I was overjoyed to learn that the class I am teaching will convene at 1 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. This means that I will not have to get up early. Sleeping in is a high priority for me. My brain doesn't typically work that well before 10 a.m.

I was also overjoyed to learn that, while we have to closely follow a standard syllabus for our 101 classes, classroom policy is completely up to me. Know what that means? I get to ban laptops (unless a student has an extremely convincing reason to use one--disability, etc.). Will they all hate me because of this? Probably. But I know how it goes. I went to college. I sat behind people using laptops. Were any of them paying attention, especially in gen-ed courses? Nope. I know how addictive Facebook and Twitter can be. I have my own social media obsession. I'd like to remove that temptation for them while they're in class.

I'll be refining my policies over the next few days at training when we work on our syllabuses (the Oxford Dictionaries say that syllabuses and syllabi are both acceptable plurals). We also get to learn to make lesson plans soon, which will be helpful, because at this point I have literally no idea how to structure a class.

I can't believe I'm going to be a teacher. How did this happen? I'm in a faculty directory. Is this real life?


  1. The ability to block out laptops is nice. My class has always been assigned a technology classroom, which means every student is on a desktop. I mean, it's not all bad: I can do a lot of digital activities, tutorials, and I can have them fill out a quick eval at the end of class for regular feedback. But I have had to learn to teach while roaming.

    1. Having a technology classroom like that would be awesome, assuming schools would just block social media sites on their wireless network. I don't know why they don't do that; lots of companies do. Happy belated birthday, by the way. :)

  2. Did you know that "octopodes" is an acceptable plural form of "octopus" because the name derives from ancient Greek?

    1. I did not know that, but that is rad. Oh, Felipe, always so full of interesting information. I miss you.

  3. Banning laptops is genius. Now you just get to watch out for smartphones.

    You should give extra credit for every day students volunteer to put their smartphones in a basket on your desk for the class period, visible so they don't worry, but inaccessible so they don't get distracted :) Like, a tenth of a point for each day or something.

    1. I like your smartphone idea, but I think I might like to make them look up the definitions of words when they ask me.

      "Ms. Robison, what does "inaccessible" mean?"

      "You have a smartphone. Look it up."

      Like that.


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