Friday, August 30, 2013

The Weekend

As promised, multimedia: here's a picture of the snails that greet me every morning on the way to the gym.

I try not to step on them, but I think some people do, because occasionally you see a splintered shell on the path as you walk to class. They disappear after around 7:15 in the morning, though, so you have to be a fairly early riser to get a glimpse.

OK enough about snails. It's the weekend! The way weeks are arranged here works really well for an American schedule: by the time you get to Thursday, it's actually more like Friday, and even though there's school on Sunday, it's not that big a deal because then Monday feels more like Tuesday. Got it?

Anyway but FRIDAY IS THE WEEKEND! So I'm spending it inside, occasionally lesson planning but mostly watching Whose Line and Epic Meal Time to escape the afternoon heat. There was a trip to the Dead Sea for the kids this morning but I hear it's too hot this time of year, and there was a trip to a souk in Amman that I heard was not that cool, so instead I'm staying here (as are all the TFs, I think) and considering trying to get someone to drive us into town tonight. If not, that's fine too; it's plenty comfortable here. And the weekend food spread is particularly good. Pizza for breakfast!

Also, more teaching has happened; specifically, I taught my first two full-length classes on Wednesday and Thursday. The way my particular class schedule works, only one section meets on each of those days, so I haven't yet had to teach two classes in a day, but I have (finally) taught my first 45 minute class, and that is a good thing to have under my belt.

And I think they went well! The first one was a little jumbled and I think we spent too much time on the boring syllabus stuff, but the second one was significantly better, which I'm happy about. Now, of course, I'm realizing that I probably picked the wrong things to cover in that class, and that I'm going about these first two weeks in rather the wrong order, but that seems to be the recurring theme of being a first-year teacher. As well as something goes in 45 minutes, there's always the week, the term, the year to think about, and you can always be rethinking and restructuring (even as you're thinking and structuring for the first time).

Mostly, though, I've been having fun at the front of the classroom. My students have been incredibly engaged in their first one-plus days, both as participants (maybe because I told them it'd be 20% of their grade) and as listeners, and I'm hoping to keep our momentum going as we approach Actual Content. It feels GREAT to not have to deal with the syllabus any more; that's one thing that definitely needs to be restructured.

Off now to take a walk around the running track, which I have yet to explore, so that'll be a way to do something new without leaving my walled citadel. May post again later today? There's always more to write about.


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