Designing Syllabi and Lesson Plans Concurrently

At campus #1, the Honors College, I’m teaching 2 sections of Honors Freshman Composition, which I taught last semester. Redesigning the syllabus for this is of the utmost importance because I didn’t do as well as I’d intended. I’m refocusing the reading material, adding more aspects of “instructor input,” and actually constructing lesson plans ahead of time. This particular campus requires a very detailed syllabus complete with daily “topics” or objectives, in-class activities, and all of the homework assignments, so making the lesson plans is really just one step further.

This is day 3 in my attempt to focus on this, but I’m merely in Week 2 of my syllabus. I’ve been reading up on pedagogy through peer-reviewed sources on EBSCO/JStor, at ProfHacker (The Chronicle), and various insightful blogs, so I haven’t been completely unproductive. In the midst of that, though, I created a Tumblr account–another outlet for interconnectedness.

I have so much to do, and I can’t, for the life of me, focus. Last summer, I completed 2 of my 3 syllabi in about a week, while traveling by train. I suppose “movement” and a tight schedule makes me focus, and right now, I do have a week and half with nothing else on my schedule but pilates and jogging. Stagnancy really does a number on my productivity, but tonight, after my last volleyball playoffs of the season, I’m going to buckle down, like I did this morning around 3am. Fifteen more weeks to plan for, and three more syllabi to go (less detailed but all new texts). Shit.

My kitchen table, which is my main desk, currently and usually looks like this:


It’s a good thing that I don’t have kids. I can’t imagine juggling my workload and playload with anything more than my two cats.

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