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Professor mamas 2011 - Page 2

post #21 of 196
Sorin--congrats!!!! That's huge. joy.gif

kerc--I hear ya! I felt like I was ready to rock this semester and now I'm running just to keep up.

We had a snowstorm followed by sub-zero temps so when I realized that the windchill would be -30 for my evening class, I canceled class and tried to do a mini-lecture (PowerPoint slides plus listening examples) online in iMovie. In theory that was a great idea, but it ate up gobs of time and many of my students are having trouble getting it to work on their computers. And yesterday I had a ton of stuff on my to-do list but caught the stomach bug that my oldest had on Friday. DH ended up staying home and taking care of everything. A dose of leftover Zofran from J's pregnancy finally brought things under control (it was that or go to the ER and get hooked up to an IV). I'm feeling better now, except for a monster headache. And I need to get class prep done since it didn't get done last night. And I did I mention last week's two snow days? Ack!
post #22 of 196

Have you looked here (SERC's website)? for good ideas?

 

post #23 of 196

kerc - thanks!

post #24 of 196
Thread Starter 

SO in reviewing my intial offer letter, I realized I only had 2 years of credit, so I have another year until I am up for review.  *whew*  I mean, I could probably do it this year, but I'd prefer the breathing room.

 

We had 4 consecutive weeks with snowdays - I think W,W,F,T or something like that.  Totally has made me lose a week.  I'm lagging behind, but hanging in there somehow.  Thank you for online HW/test system.  some bugs here and there, but overall awesome.

 

Working on a learning community proposal, and trying to find a small grant to fund the instructional technologies eneded, and work out a few logistic details. I am really excited about it!  sorin - the way you are reinventing yourself after tenure, is the way I am feeling about this new job, where I am not in the tenure system, and I have more freedom (only constrained by resources).  So I think about what would be really cool and fun, and am just going for it!  Why not?  A conference is a great way to spark new exciting ideas and collabs!

 

post #25 of 196

ACK!  I'm so totally off schedule for my Physiology class... both schedules I have been waffling back and forth between (and didn't realize I was doing so).  banghead.gif  I feel like such an idiot.  I'm sure my class thinks I'm loony.  GAH.  I am working on modifying the schedule(s) into one coherent schedule that will get the job done for my students.  Hopefully they won't hate me for being such an absentminded professor for the first 1/3 of the term. duck.gifgreensad.gif

post #26 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmitrizmom View Post

ACK!  I'm so totally off schedule for my Physiology class... both schedules I have been waffling back and forth between (and didn't realize I was doing so).  banghead.gif  I feel like such an idiot.  I'm sure my class thinks I'm loony.  GAH.  I am working on modifying the schedule(s) into one coherent schedule that will get the job done for my students.  Hopefully they won't hate me for being such an absentminded professor for the first 1/3 of the term. duck.gifgreensad.gif


If it makes you feel any better: I'm teaching two 100 level courses in geology. Both begin with the rock cycle and diverge from there. I just openly admit what's going on and move on. Next week: soil in one class and radioactivity in the other.

post #27 of 196

sorin - im the same age and received tenure. Next year is my sabbatical year. I am using it to go somewhere else and pursue a new avenue of research. I think it is pretty common to do what you have to do to get tenure and then pursue other interests.

post #28 of 196

I have professor-related question, that has nothing to do with being a mom, but maybe you wise mamas will have some ideas.

 

I'm teaching a class with 135 students in it right now.  What's the best way to hand back exams when you have so many students?  I've tried alphabetical piles, but I always end up with a gazillion piles and a big mess at the end.  Some people I know actually call names out and hand them back that way, but that will eat up half of my class time.  Any ideas?

post #29 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaybee View Post

I have professor-related question, that has nothing to do with being a mom, but maybe you wise mamas will have some ideas.

 

I'm teaching a class with 135 students in it right now.  What's the best way to hand back exams when you have so many students?  I've tried alphabetical piles, but I always end up with a gazillion piles and a big mess at the end.  Some people I know actually call names out and hand them back that way, but that will eat up half of my class time.  Any ideas?

When I was a TA at Very Big State University, the prof asked students to put their lab section on their exams. We handed them back in lab.

Also at Very Big State University another prof divided the stack up and asked 4 tas to come and read off names and hand back papers. Chaotic. But slightly quicker than one person.

 

With my 50 student courses I have my ta put together a file box with their names on folders and students pick them up. Technically I'm not supposed to distribute grades in a way that other students can see them (i.e. big stack of papers -- one student can take another's), and one of the things my school does well is keep to this.


 

post #30 of 196

My own question just arose.

 

Imagine it was possible: would you take your two children (6 and 9) on a field trip class for a week next March to the Bahamas? The class is being proposed now, I have a colleague who is a bit, tricky, to work with. But I need to decide if I'm planning on taking my kids so I can tell senior colleague that it is happening. I'd either bring my spouse or a nanny (unfortunately my favorite person as a nanny held my position a year before I did and colleague doesn't like her as a geology instructor).  The class will be about 1/2 day looking at rocks and 1/2 day in the water, looking at the reefs.

post #31 of 196

Kerc - I got 3 volunteers and it took less than 10 minutes to pass them all out. 

 

And for the field trip... I would take the kids and spouse along if I could.  That's what I did with field camp last year, but I admit I did check first to make that it had been done before.  Lots of people had brought their kids along before, so it wasn't a big deal.  Make sure the living arrangements are such that having the family along would work out ok.

 

I was REALLY busy though - like 6am-5pm every day and about every third evening on duty.  So although we were "together", I wasn't with them much. It's not a vacation.

 

Is this something you will run again?  You could run the first time without them and bring them with you the second time, too. 

post #32 of 196
kerc--I totally would bring them. You might be busy, but what a great opportunity for them!

My QOTD: In one of my online music sections, a student just turned in his orientation (after I gave him a 0 for not submitting it last week). Here's the tricky part: he left it in my mailbox. It is an online class. Assignments must be submitted online. There is no classroom component. Also, he got one of the 7 questions wrong, which means he's using one of the programs incorrectly (or more likely, not at all because his answer isn't one of the garden-variety "I got the program working but failed to read the instructions to the question carefully" answers). And he's the same student who emailed me last week wanting a second chance on his quiz because he didn't know it was open-book. (I sent a message earlier saying it was open book. The quiz says it's open book. The quiz they are supposed to take before that also points out that quizzes are open book.)

So, can I ignore the orientation and leave his grade as-is? I'd rather stick to the 0 because that's what happens when you can't be bothered to turn in your work and when you stick a piece of paper in your professor's mailbox without so much as a word of explanation about why you think it's ok to turn in online work in person or why it is nearly a month late or anything else.
post #33 of 196

Realrellim - Do you have a policy on late work?  I usually state something in the syllabus (10% per day late, etc.) and then I can stick with it if I want or be more lenient should circumstances come up where leniency is more appropriate.  I would send him a note asking him to submit it on-line for some reduced credit or let him know it was too late for credit if he's passed the deadline, and remind him to be on time for the next assignment.  

 

I had a student last semester who failed my class, primarily because he didn't turn in a bunch of labs.  I came back to the office after Christmas break (which included a campus shut-down and furlough) to find a stack of labs in my box.  Um, no.

 

I like my class this semester.  It's big (135 students), but they are actually pretty engaged.  Yay!

post #34 of 196

Lisa -- great minds think alike. I follow Kaybee's suggestions and add to them a sentence in my syllabus (new this semester) that I do not accept assignments more than one week late. I give on this if the student is ill, I'm unavailable or something like that.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaybee View Post

Realrellim - Do you have a policy on late work?  I usually state something in the syllabus (10% per day late, etc.) and then I can stick with it if I want or be more lenient should circumstances come up where leniency is more appropriate.  I would send him a note asking him to submit it on-line for some reduced credit or let him know it was too late for credit if he's passed the deadline, and remind him to be on time for the next assignment.  

post #35 of 196

I used to do alphabetic piles and had the students come down by rows to pick them up at the end of class. So, only 7-10 students are going through the piles. You can do some sort of fold/staple - only the name shows - method so the grade remains private.

 

Do you have any online component? I post the scores to moodle now.

post #36 of 196
Thread Starter 

i'd give him one or the other, not both and tell him - you got one freebie, from now on read directions!

 

okay - dilemma - need help.  MY Dissertation has been pushed aside while I try to keep the family together.  DH is working long hours - in fact he has comps this week - joy.  Anyway  I need to freaking finish it.  Do I attend a workshop in April hoping it will get my butt moving?  Lots of bigwigs - i would be a very small fish in the pond which makes me very nervous.  Going to this workshop would be really important for me in terms of prestige if I am accepted, but honestly I don't feel worthy right now, I feel lame.  I feel like I can't even finish my dissertation and I never will.  I am terrified of talking to my advisor since I haven't spoken with him since about October when he said there was no way I was going to defend in the fall :(.  So how do I put the pieces back together?  teaching 4 classes is feeling manageable, but I can't find room to stick the D in.

post #37 of 196

I can't speak positively on the conference. I did that and all it did was make me feel even more inferior and underprepared/done/etc.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carita View Post

i'd give him one or the other, not both and tell him - you got one freebie, from now on read directions!

 

okay - dilemma - need help.  MY Dissertation has been pushed aside while I try to keep the family together.  DH is working long hours - in fact he has comps this week - joy.  Anyway  I need to freaking finish it.  Do I attend a workshop in April hoping it will get my butt moving?  Lots of bigwigs - i would be a very small fish in the pond which makes me very nervous.  Going to this workshop would be really important for me in terms of prestige if I am accepted, but honestly I don't feel worthy right now, I feel lame.  I feel like I can't even finish my dissertation and I never will.  I am terrified of talking to my advisor since I haven't spoken with him since about October when he said there was no way I was going to defend in the fall :(.  So how do I put the pieces back together?  teaching 4 classes is feeling manageable, but I can't find room to stick the D in.


But: it sounds like you just need to do it. Doesn't that sound simple? What I mean is commit to a short writing time each day. 20 minutes. You will write for 20 minutes (I do this with stuff like sit ups too). You can throw out all you write in 20 minutes, but chances are good you'll keep at least a small section.

 

Other ideas:

www.academicladder.com  hosts writing groups too.

 

I think Kaybee sponsored her own research group "writing club" last fall?

post #38 of 196

Carita - Aim for 20 minutes a day, and find someone you have to report back to every day. (I did draft my research group into a "writing club" last fall in part because I needed to force myself to write every day.  It petered out eventually, but it was useful in the short term for me.) 

 

If the conference is something in line with your dissertation, then I'd do it.  By this I mean that preparing for the conference will push your dissertation writing along instead of adding more to the pile.  I'm learning that conferences are a great way to force me to get research done on a deadline.  Can you contact your advisor and tell him you will send him a draft of a chapter by a certain date.  Then you have a self-imposed deadline, but there is someone else there to make you follow through.  It's more pressure, but sometimes pressure is what you need.

 

ASusan - Yes, I have a Moodle site and egradebook, and most of the exam is graded automatically (read: bubble sheet) and reported automatically back to the students.  But I do have a short answer section that I grade and return.  I like the idea of doing a row or 2 at a time - that would help prevent the mass mess.  Other suggestions involved passing exams back in lab, but then I can't go over them with the class quite as easily. 

 

post #39 of 196
Thread Starter 

i like that academic ladder - i need that kick in the pants... anyone you know tried it successfully?  it doesn't start for 2 more weeks.  i am planning to work on it quite a bit during break, but i need to stop procrastinating and start working today... ugh.  anyone want to be my partner to get me started for just a few days to get into the routine?  activation energy you know,...

 

the workshop is great, but now that i am in a college without the need to really publish it might be a waste of energy to try and go?  i want to go, i do, but ugh.

post #40 of 196

Carita - sending writing vibes your way.

 

I have a situation with a student that I'm not sure how I'm going to handle...  The student asked to take an exam early as she had a family obligation out of town.  I said ok. (Departmental policy says if a student asks, in advance, about a make up, they are to be allowed. If the exam is made up before the test date - no penalty.  If the student makes it up after the test day, within 5 days, a penalty may apply).  I wrote two versions of the exam (one for her, one for the rest of the class).  She went to the testing center to take the exam early, got into the testing room with the exam, spent 10 minutes with it.  She then went back out to the attendant and said that she didn't have enough time to take the exam and didn't know enough of the material to take the exam.... and that she'd come back another time to take the exam. jaw2.gif  The test center attendant took the exam and sent it back to me.  Honestly, there is a part of me that would love to just give her a zero - she had the exam in her possession for 10 minutes - long enough to read the questions, and to me it is cheating.  Part of me says let her take the exam with a 10- 20% penalty.  Part of me says to rewrite the exam as all short answer and essay, then let her take it without a percent deduction.  Option 1 probably wouldn't fly well with administration.  Option 2 and 3 would fall within acceptable limits. I'm pretty sure that even with the sneak peek and the extra days to study that she won't pass, but that's not really the point.  It is an academic dishonesty issue.  And I'd live to prevent efforts of this type in the future (even if it does give me a rep as a tough instructor).  So, what would you ladies do?

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