Keeping up the conversation with students

I am an avid Twitter user and espouser, as my students in social media and all my classes can attest. One of my favorite parts of Twitter is the ability it gives you to stay connected to students.

In the past week, I’ve gotten comments on the books I’ve chosen for a fall class, a note from a former editing student who says she now is an grammar and punctuation ninja at work and comments from former students wishing they could be in class jammin’ to Justin Bieber (students chose the songs) when my social media class tried out turntable.fm.

Today a former student tweeted that she almost wrote a question lead, but she could see me in her mind’s eye, suggesting other options. (She had me shaking my finger at her, which makes me feel a little old, but it’s probably an accurate mental picture.)

Former students also respond to various calls for advice, help and suggestions for current students. Yes, I do like continuing the conversations. #jmcawesome.

Almost the first day of school

I loved this group. Here's our end-of-semester potluck.

One of the things I love about teaching is the opportunity to start over again each semester. I am always sad to see groups of students go at the end of each semester, but it’s such fun to start over again. The whirling carousel that is media today also keeps me reinventing what I am doing each semester. I’m reworking two classes a lot this semester and tweaking the third. That means that I’m still scrambling to figure some things out. I’ll be ready for class. Let me say that again: I’ll be ready for class, but it’ll likely be close.

From the other side of the classroom

I’m taking a class this semester, something I try to do every so often to learn a new aspect of journalism or design or, in this case, computer programming. The very basics of computer programming in Computers and Scientific Thinking.

I love taking classes because I love learning new things. My head actually hurt today when I was trying to wrap my mind around the speed of a computer processing chip.

Being a student has an added advantage in that I think it will make me a better professor. It’s good to take a seat in the student section and see what it’s like. I’m lucky to have a prof like Dr. Dave Reed. He is organized, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and funny.

I’ve found that having to do homework, study, pay attention in class and worry about tests makes me look at how I teach in a different way.  I know it will help make me a better professor.

How am I as a student? I’m engaged, talkative (there could be eye-rolling from some in the class as I raise my hand and comment on almost everything…), but I tend to be late (ouch… I really frown on that in my class).

Lesson learned.