Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Great Expectations

I found myself in an interesting situation yesterday. A colleague had told me how some of my students were really enthusiastic and happy about one of my seminars (which is a wonderful thing to hear!), and I am fully aware that the module is working a lot better than last year, due to some changes in the way I am running it.

Then I needed to prepare this week's seminar session. Blank. Procrastination. Emptiness. Stress. The reason: I felt I needed to aim high, and find activities that would really live up to the high expectations that I now anticipate in my students. I couldn't possibly be letting them down by doing a second-rate thing, something I might have got away with in previous years. So I was contemplating what to do, dithering between different options, trying to (somewhat in vain) evaluate/second-guess which one would work better. In the end I ended up with a compromise which I think did work fine.

The problem with teaching is that you never stand still. You innovate, hit upon a successful improvement, and then you have to keep maintaining high standards. No time to rest and fall back. Constantly pushing yourself.

I guess it's a good thing...!

1 comment:

  1. It's much the same thing as with research, I suppose. And similarly, there's no magic solution except to buckle down and just do it.