#23 – Teach a term at a university. Check.

Soooooo I’m actually swapping a last minute goal. “Teach a term at a university” was on my original draft at the beginning of 2015, but after a bad experience at Portland State University where I ended up flatly refusing to teach a class, the goal got scratched from the list. Instead, I thought I would try to sell some lessons online. In fact, a former student even made me a very cool logo – but then teaching opportunity at Concordia University just sort of fell into my lap; an offer I couldn’t refuse.

Last night, I wrapped up our final session of “Differentiation in the Learning Community” for secondary level teachers. Of course, I haven’t officially finished grading all of their portfolios and submitted grades, but to me it feels finished

Overall, it was really challenging, but also really rewarding.

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The hard parts:

  1. Working my regular job all day, then haul ass across town to teach a four hour night class, only to turn around and wake up for work the next morning. So exhausting.
  2. Planning an engaging four hour night class. These poor people also worked all day – how would I keep them going until 9pm?
  3. Having no technology on the first day of class. I had never been to the building and was only given a key code, and found out my room was behind schedule, which didn’t exactly jive with the super engaging videos and audio content I had planned.
  4. Not having time to eat dinner.
  5. Having to tell a graduate level student that she needed to turn in her homework or I would have to fail her.

The good parts:

  1. Working with people who are new to the field of education was reinvigorating. Their souls have not been sucked from them…yet.
  2. Planning a rigorous class that forced me to learn more, too.
  3. The paycheck. And right before Christmas!
  4. The professionalism of my students far surpassed that of the current teachers I work with. They showed up on time, turned in thoughtful assignments, and treated each other respectfully.
  5. No matter how many times I told my students to call me by my first name, they kept calling me Professor Deacon. As in, “Errr Professor Deacon? I forgot my textbooks…” or “Let’s consult Professor Deacon on this one…” Say what?! I should start signing my checkbook this way.
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    They even typed it on their cover pages.

    But seriously though, they were actually fun to work with despite the fact we were ALLLLLL struggling to get through a Wednesday night. They were willing to be my guinea pigs and have deep discussions about poverty and privilege.

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Will I do it again? Absolutely – but not next term. I need to catch up on my sleep just a little bit. That’s also assuming that they ask me to teach again, but at least from my perspective – it was a total success.

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