Sorry I posted this in the Reflection section originally
Hello All, my name is Anthony Eid. I have been teaching, hmmm let’s see here, since 2014 in higher ed. I had to open my resume up to actually see the year. I was a tutor, both online and in person, prior to that since 2010, so I get a bit muddled with the year that I started in the actual classroom sometimes. Tutoring online always felt a bit more reactive. I would wait for students to hand in papers or a request for tutoring would come in, and then I would activate and become a tutor. There was no before or after sometimes, the tutoring would be in the moment mostly and per paper. Sometimes, I would have regular students, but mostly I tutored a new student each time. Being reactive is great when there is no history with students. However, with teaching online the past semester, being reactive made me a bit nervous and anxious.
The situation was very day-to-day and piecemeal the first couple of weeks. However, with some planning, a bit of presence with my students, and tons of emails, things began to settle and I was less reactive which put me at ease. The in-classroom plan got thrown out for the most part. When plans are set out and there is a goal in mind, I feel more comfortable. I assume my students would be as well, so we both benefited from that reorientation and refocusing. It was hectic at fist, but things smoothed out as time went along. I am hoping that with all of us starting online in the fall that there won’t be any whiplash from the sudden shift and classes will start up as they ended my last semester-in peace and reassurance.
Usually, on the first day of class, I introduce myself a bit differently than what I did above here. I focus more upon my struggles as a student. Most students understand that when a person stands at the front of the classroom that comes with some experience and credibility. I don’t tell them how many years I have been teaching. I simply explain how many years it took me to feel like the writer I am today. I tell them about the struggles I had with my first paper in college. From that experience, I was so afraid every time I put pen to paper because the grade I received on it did not reflect how accomplished and confident I felt in high school. Honesty is a tremendous part of my teaching practices. I believe it helps students to be honest with me and helps them voice their needs and wants right away. In addition, I know my students are about to write a literary narrative, and that also helps them right away see what they can do for that piece. The literary narrative comes at them fast, so I hope this is another example of one outside of their readings. However, I believe this approach will somewhat terrify them in a posting. In front of a classroom, my energetic and smiley presence usually smooths out the story and let’s them see it was not all doom and gloom, and that there was a happy ending. I believe doing this as a recording will be better than not, or I can figure out a new way of doing this altogether.
The intended goal of such an introduction may be a bit off center as an online posting in writing. I am trying to reassure my students that they can accomplish their goals in this class if I can work my way up to being a college writing professor from being devastated by my first grade on a college paper. However, as I said before, being online is a situation that may not match this introduction so well in writing. This is similar to a writing style I have dabbled in but have researched a bit more, stand-up comedy. The basic anatomy of a joke is set-up(the information the audience needs and these are usually the unfunny parts of the joke), punchline(the funny parts of the joke that usually brings about laughter from an audience), and tag lines(they are sort of like sequels to the punchlines that can keep a joke going, and thus the laughter). When on stage, these are the usual components audiences watching American stand-up have come to know and expect. Jokes are usually cultivated over a tour. Comics will hit different audiences with the same joke, and then will alter it as time goes on to suit most audiences. If it worked in D.C., Boston, and Minneapolis, it may make 90% of your audience laugh, and possibly get others who have not encountered your act or know you as a comedian to do so as well. My students have not met me yet and as I said above, they expect a certain routine on the first day from their professors. Some comedians get away with a lot on stage because they have the charisma to hammer it out till they get to the next bit. That is similar to my first day gloomy speech. I get away with a lot because of my energy, but that introduction only works because of that. If just put online without context or that energy, students will not connect with it. I am aware of who they are as an audience and what they are expecting. My opening day bit is not good for all situations, so I should change it to be applicable online.
Yes– I know, so many things are different online, right? Humor doesn’t always translate, first of all– and also, we do really need to plan things out a lot more. Before I had my current role, I was a lot more roll-with-the-punches. I just wanted to figure things out as we went along. But now, and especially with an online course, it seems that everything really needs to be outlined
And we STILL have to be willing to change everything completely should the need arise!