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Posts Tagged ‘Haul Blocks’

So you’ve gotten a job.  Congratulations!  Celebrate a bit (then stop procrastinating and get back to work on your dissertation).  One thing that those of us lucky enough to receive jobs probably haven’t dealt with yet is what we’re going to do about the courses we’ll be teaching in the fall.

In some ways, this question reflects all of the reasons that we wanted jobs in the first place.  My future department recently contacted me to tell me which courses they would like me to teach in the fall and to ask when I wanted to teach them.  The idea that I had control over my schedule was foreign to me and I didn’t quite know how to handle it.  After regaining my composure, which required looking at the department website to see how others had structured their schedules, I suggested some times that were accepted by the department.  The scheduling process made the fact that I have a job for the fall a lot more real, and reminded me that I need to get back to work on my dissertation.

Thankfully, my fall schedule was free of surprises since I had discussed the courses that I would teach at my interview.  Because I only have one new prep (and this course is at least tangentially related to my interests), I don’t have to worry as much as some others in my position.  So far I’ve checked out the syllabi of others and requested a few desk copies of relevant books, but I’m sure that things will get more hectic (thankfully, I’ve got the power) as the time to order books and finalize my own syllabus approaches.

Rob Weir at Inside Higher Ed has some additional advice for new professors:

  • Relax.
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel.
  • Ignorance can be bliss.
  • Say goodbye to grad school.
  • Haul blocks.
  • Black and white goes with everything.
  • Ratchet up, not down.
  • Function follows form.
  • Be clear and fair. (The rest will follow.)

Like me, you may have thought that you went into higher ed so that you don’t have to haul blocks, but Weir explains his advice in more detail in his post.  I’ll keep this advice in mind as fall approaches.

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