Half-way done…

Well, it’s November already, and I don’t know where September and October went! Oh wait, let’s see…

  • Quit my (full-time) job to teach (part-time) and be a Graduate Research Assistant (part-time). So now I’m teaching 16 hrs a week and GRAing 20 hrs a week
  • Started tutoring international students in English (writing, mostly, with some speaking practice). Also started facilitating an English conversation group.
  • Taking 9 credits of courses.

Unsurprisingly, that’s where the past two months has gone. Getting back into teaching–I’m now teaching English to undergrad international students–has been a huge challenge. I have 4 classes, each meet twice a week for 1h40m, and the amount of prep I have to do is just crazy. I’ve been pretty consistently getting up at 5 or 5:30 every morning, finalizing prep for that day. The weekend after I gave midterms I spent probably 12 hours grading. And I still feel like, to really be the best teacher I could be, I should be better-prepared and planned out. But, when there aren’t enough hours in the day…

Luckily, the GRA work is really going well, and is both entirely flexible, intellectually stimulating, and has the added benefit of overlapping in content with some of my courses, so that the research I do for one benefits the other.

And, the courses. I’m really enjoying all three, and feel like I’m doing a decent job of keeping up with the reading and the work. I did decide not to take the instructional design class, thank goodness. I have comparative international ed, research on teacher ed, and a research methods class. After this term, I should have just 4 more semesters of coursework, including the summer, so that should put me at starting my dissertation in summer 2011.

Next term I’m dropping 2 of my ESL classes that I teach, to pick up teaching one of the graduate-level classes in the TESOL certificate program, which is for international graduate students who want to learn how to be ESL teachers and then go back to their country to teach English. It will be a seminar on intercultural communication. That I have to develop over winter break. Luckily I have almost a month off, because the list of work to do during the break is adding up…

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