Just another afternoon at Hampshire College.
Happy Friday, dear Internetz! Above, the view from the bus stop in downtown Northampton.
Waiting for the bus to Hampshire, I saw the army of UMass teaching assistants waiting for their express bus to Friday sections. They were all wearing their Friday best, ready to impart knowledge and facilitate discussions among the undergraduates. Oh the memories! I was one of them during grad school part I; I learned to teach during those Fridays.
Teaching is a craft that requires a lot of care and feeding. I am skeptical that ‘natural’ teachers exist, but I do know that the best teachers are those who believe that their craft should always evolve, who wonder at the end of every session what he or she could have done better, and finally, those who know realize that you have to think about how to engage all the students in the room with you, not just the middle, not just the best, and not just the worst.
I’ve been lucky since grad school to worked in library positions where teaching is healthy part of my portfolio, but most importantly, I’ve been extremely fortunate to have colleagues who are willing to watch me in the classroom and offer constructive suggestions about how to be more effective.
It takes a village to teach a class of students; may we all find ways of supporting each other inside and outside of the classroom so we can do the work of educating our students, and each other.
In addition to being psyched about sitting at the InfoBar, IT deployed my new computer to me today!
Life is better with two screens. Seriously, I don’t know how I just worked with just one!
Once the dust of the new semester settles, I am putting in a work order for facilities to help me put up some framed stuff on my wall. I lack the expertise to put in concrete nails myself.
I’d say my office is coming together nicely.
View from the InfoBar.
Hey, internetz, as you may recall from past posts about my job(s), I love working on reference desks. Between the people watching, random questions, and the opportunity to develop relationships with students and faculty, it’s a pretty fantastic way to spend a chunk of my week.
Here at Hampshire, we have an experimental reference desk called the InfoBar. It’s a consolidated service point for the library, media services, and IT. The bar sites right at the library entrance; we’re the first folks you see when you walk through the door. Did I mention we have bar stools and pens?
I am a fan.
This is my first shift and I’ve already helped folks with basic directions (hey, we want students to feel comfortable and welcome so they will come back and ask for help with their projects) and some more complicated technology questions about Hampshire’s courseware system, Moodle. I imagine I will get some heavier reference questions once the dust settles from the first week of school and students begin to get into their reading and various projects.