My first encounter with my new students

Today was my first chance to meet some of the students I will have this fall.  We had to test them, have oral interviews and then pace them in classes.

I had been really nervous about today because I wasn’t very familiar with the language lab or the testing or anything else involved in this process.  But after my colleague took five hours of his vacation time to explain the lab to me yesterday and then came in to help me run the test, I was feeling a lot more confident.  And things were actually going very well.  And then, as you would expect, it all fell apart!  Well, not really, but the university lost Internet about 5 minutes into the actual test.  And, of course, it was an internet-based test.  So we had to rapidly get the students entered into a different program where they could take a different placement test.  It all went well once we actually got the test started.

And then, of course, we have trouble getting the reports to print.  I had to take the reports to the interviews with the students and their advisers from their majors, which were scheduled to start about 40 minutes after we ended testing.  Finally, though, it all came together.  The interviews came off without a hitch. and we were all able to go home happy.

Tomorrow we repeat the process with another group of students.  Hopefully it won’t really be a repeat of today!

But back to my students… They seem like a great group, and I am looking forward to working with them this year.  So far I think that I wil be able to carry out all the plans that I have for the semester.  Since I had no idea of their language ability until today, I was a little worried that what I had planned would be too difficult for them.  But it doesn’t look like that will be an issue.

I am really trying to put writing at the center of my classes this semester.  This semester we won’t be using social media because I haven’t had a chance to investigate university policy on it, and I think that I am more worried about other things this first time around.  We will be making extensive use of online resources, and in my mind at least, that is a good start.  We’ll see how it goes and how I decide to incorporate other tools next semester.

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