Well, you'll have noticed my posting has been spotty. Don't recall if I shared with y'all the fact that at the end of the summer, I was teaching overtime, and then - stopping for a breath of a week - began teaching again in the linguistics department.
And then, my teaching load there changed by the day and hour, with me finally being the instructor for a course I'd never taught, in a context I'd never taught. Nerve wracking to say the least.
What got lost in the shuffle was how terrible the one, intensive English contract ended. The simmering conflict over methodologies, and teachers-as-robots/students as miserable SOBs vs teaching-as-facilitating/students are learners with huge stores of knowledge to be acknowledged, exploded. Oh yeah. Reduced me to tears of frustration. And a shouting match with one of the coordinators (she in favour of turnitin.com
) where I ended the "conversation" by saying that if teachers are doing their job, there's no need for such a service, and that said service was immoral. And the bitch yelled at one of my students! OOOOOHHHHHH! You know me, she's lucky I didn't deck her.
Anyway, one moment of vindication came at the closing ceremonies, where all the teachers were called to accept some little token of appreciation. There was polite clapping for the teachers until my name was called - at that point the room broke out into yells and cheers, and loud 'woo hoo'ing'. That was sweet.
Sweet too to get the results of the teaching assessment today. It's divided into two categories, one dealing mostly with instructional materials, student self-assessment, course expectations. On the scores where you'd expect to see a dip in numbers because I was teaching using a different methodology (mine, not theirs), there was one - to be expected. I wasn't rote teaching, and that was the expectation. On the whole the numbers were satisfying, though frustrating because of events out of my control (i.e. low scores for the textbook being useful - no shit! The texts were crap!)
When it came down to the numbers for the teacher though (helpfulness, class interesting, clear explanations, encouraging students' questions, making them feel comfortable) the numbers soared. Across the board.
So I did my job, and it worked. I valued the students, and they got something out of it. Validation. I've never given a fuck about the administration, or the politics of brown-nosing, I care about teaching and learning.
There's an extra sheet where students comments are attached. They were positive, but one made me laugh my ass off, and I thank whichever student wrote it. S/he wrote, using that expressive succinct language we talked about in class: "The University must keep her."
Funny, then, that after my batailles with the other teaching staff, I was declined employment in the unit for the fall term, eh?
I'll take my sweet satisfaction of a job well done where it matters most - from my students.