Above: Hannah Weems, Matt Haworth, Carson, and Rav Senanayake
The first day of classes is always a challenge; I have been sprinting to get a number of last second changes made to my syllabi, as well as organize interesting discussions that are relavent to my three courses on day one. I recall as a high school and college student, day one was always a waste; we usually sat around and listened to the instructor read his or her syllabus to us as if we could not read. Now, in defense of that, I do realize most students do not read a course syllabus. So, I at least point out the most important material. The first day is the most exhausting. I am dead. The great news about today is the fact that three of my favorite former students came by campus to take me out to lunch…. Yes, it is a late lunch. But still, there is nothing better than spending time with students you genuinely like. My students know I have favorites, though I do not hide this. Do I play favorites? I would like to think not but I am sure I do.
Today marked the start of my 9th year of teaching; I am excited about the challenges that are ahead. Furthermore, I am most curious about my growth; I have long feared that as intellectually curious and academically active as I am, I might be getting too comfortable to the point of doing too much outside of the classroom. I teach bright students who are for the most part interested in my courses. This makes my already easy job that much better.
As for Houston Christian, well I am teaching my favorite classes while working in a department that appears to be bonding in a way that is different from previous years. I see the history department as a cohesive unit with much expertise. We are all so freaking smart and gifted. I have found that we tend to check our egos at the door while trying to articulate a particular point, though I will admit that I have struggled with this at times. I am most excited about the group of students I have. My AP US class is made up of a bunch of selfless participants that makes it fun to go to work. My AP European history students are many of the favorites I loved having last year in AP US history.