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Posts tagged ‘Education’

This week is the start of Spring Semester 2017.  I am extremely happy to be back in the classroom.  But, I am also a little nervous.  I am going to be working full-time (40 hrs.) 8-5 on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday through Saturday.  I am off on Wednesday and Sunday.  The class that I am teaching is on Monday and Wednesday evening at 7:30-8:45.  The one great thing is that my junior college is expanding and has opened a satellite campus that is almost in my backyard– my commute time to school is now 10 minutes.

Wednesday was our first day of class since Monday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  I may have mentioned this before but I am doing things totally different this semester.  Starting my new job back in August was beneficial to me because for the first 6 weeks I was back in the classroom.  I was reminded of what that environment is like and the struggles that you deal with as a student.  It caused me to re-think my approach to teaching and how I structure my course.  So, I did a total overhaul.  I want it to be less technical and focus more on giving the students lots of practice speaking in front of others– after all that is the main goal of the course.  I have taken out a good handful of chapters of assigned reading in favor of more hands-on type of activities.  And, those chapters will still be in the textbook for the students who want a deeper or broader knowledge base.  I’ll keep you posted and let you know how this new philosophy works out.

I went with what I consider to be a very “teacher” type of outfit— pencil skirt, cardigan, scarf, and round toe mary jane shoes.  My outfit was based on this pin here, albeit in a different color palette.  I liked the outfit well enough but I am not sure how flattering it is to my figure.  I think that the cardigan worn buttoned up like that looks boxy and a tad frumpy.  And, I thought that my hair looked better than I think it does in these photo’s.

Oh well, I guess.


Last week was Exam Week and this week is wrap-up week.  Grades were officially due by noon on Wednesday.  Luckily, my Exams were on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week so I was able to post grades for my students by Friday of last week and submit them to the college on Monday of this week.  I always like to let my students see their final grade before I submit them in case there are any discrepancies.   I usually get one or two e-mails from students who thought they were closer to a higher letter grade than they might have been.  Sometimes they underestimate how many points one percentage point equals.

In addition to posting grades we also have to submit attendance records and a copy of the course syllabus at the end of each semester.  Because my college strives to be environmentally friendly, everything can be done electronically.  It’s very convenient to just have to send an e-mail with a few attachments than physically having to go there and turn in a packet.

There were a few meetings and end-of-semester events this week.  None of them are mandatory as an adjunct, but I try to attend them if I don’t have any scheduling conflicts.  Tuesday was our annual Communication Workshop.  Our coordinator usually takes suggestion as to what we might want to discuss during this time.  The meeting kicked off with department updates from our department chair and some information about what to expect for Summer and Fall semesters.  Then, we heard from the faculty member that runs our Communication Club and the annual speech competition that is held in December.  We had a short break for lunch and then our coordinator shared with us GIFTS (Great Ideas for Teaching Students) from the National Communication Association conference that she attended in April.  (This was the conference that I wanted to attend, but couldn’t make happen.)

We’re always pressed for time because we are Communication instructors and we all talk too much, so we had to decide if we wanted to watch and grade a persuasive speech and then discuss our individual grading rubrics OR if we wanted to discuss classroom concerns.  I didn’t vote because the classroom concerns were a list of items that I submitted to her based on student feedback.  The group picked classroom concerns and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I was smiling inside.  Our coordinator turned it over to me to kick off the first item and begin discussion.

Mostly, it was “I do this, how do you do it?”  We have a list of guidelines that we must follow, but as long as we follow those 10 items we have creative license to run the class as we see fit.  Sometimes you do something one way because you don’t know of a different way.  Having these types of conversations is a great way to learn new ways to approach common problems.  We were able to discuss 3 of the 5 ideas that I put forth and I got some great ideas for next semester that I can’t wait to try out.  I always leave those types of meetings feeling energized and renewed.

teal cardigan, lavender t-shirt, scarf, khaki pants, brown ballet flats

Let’s talk about my outfit!  Because classes are over and I wasn’t meeting with any students or higher-ups I could have worn jeans and a t-shirt, but I almost never do that!  Anytime that I am in front of our scheduling coordinator, department chair, and full-time faculty is an opportunity to shape my personal brand.  I cannot squander that opportunity for the sake of comfort!

I chose to wear khaki pants because I think they are one step above jeans, but not too over the top for a casual meeting.  With those khaki pants I paired a lavender t-shirt.  Again, and item that is mostly characterized as casual.  Because I knew that the air conditioning would be on full blast I added my teal cardigan.  The outfit didn’t seem cohesive until I added this scarf that pulled everything together–the teal cardigan and the light purple shirt.  The scarf rendered the need for a necklace obsolete and I just went with minimal jewelry—earrings, watch, and wedding rings.  Lastly, I went with brown ballet flats to continue the casual but put-together theme of my outfit even though my nude pumps would have looked the best.

I liked this outfit and felt that it hit the perfect note!  Whenever I attend these types of functions I can’t help but notice what others are wearing.  There were three men at the meeting and they ranged from jeans, chucks, and a short-sleeved button-up to casual dress pants and a long-sleeved button up, to dressy dress pants and a long-sleeved button-up and tie.  The women also ran the gamut!  Two of the women are pregnant so they have special concerns.  I was surprised to see a lot of open-toed heeled sandals, though.

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday was the same story as Tuesday— I had a long exam in the morning and then class in the afternoon.  It was my M/W student’s exam period so I dressed casual, again.

May 10, 2016 T (m)

Just as in the inspiration photo, I paired a striped shirt with a mustard yellow cardigan.  I wore dark wash jeans and accessorized with a tan belt and the same shoes I wore Tuesday!  I added a layered gold necklace and the same earrings from the day before: small circles with a white and gold chevron print.  Hey, if it isn’t broken. . .

My Wednesday morning students were more excited and in more of a jovial mood on our last day.  I think it has to do with the fact that their class was smaller and their speeches took 2 hours and my Tuesday exam was nearly 3 hours!

My afternoon class also delivered their speeches between Tuesday and Wednesday.  I did need to meet with them on Thursday to do the final wrap-up, though.  I think I mentioned before that Spring Semester 2016 is over.  I do need to post final grades and turn in my attendance records.  I will probably do that over the weekend or on Monday.  It is due by Wednesday of next week.


P.S.  Please check out my latest YouTube video: