teaching, week one
So I recently began teaching my own course for the first time. For those of you who weren’t around on this journal when I was developing the course idea last fall, it’s called “Fairy Tales in the Modern World,” and is in essence about contemporary retellings/mashups/what-have-you of a whole variety of folktales.
I’m pleased with how it has started. The class enrollment is limited to twenty; I had three people wait-listed as of Monday. One student appears to have dropped, so we’ll see if we get a replacement, or if the wait-lists have already moved on with their lives. I like the size, and since I’m only teaching the one class (instead of three sections), and we meet three times a week (instead of just once for each section), I’m much further along the road to learning students’ names than usual. As in, I can correctly guess over half of them already.
Probably the most encouraging thing is that they aren’t afraid to speak up. I’ve taught sections where people settled in quickly and got talking, and sections where getting anyone to open their mouth is like pulling teeth. (Or the latter, with just that one student who will talk when no one else does. Then I have to try and draw the quiet ones out without stepping on the enthusiastic one.) Several people seem to have come in with a pretty in-depth knowledge of fairy tales already, which should provide good fodder for discussion.
Next week we’ll be blitzing through a history of the more famous tale collectors and/or writers — Basile, Straparola, Perrault, d’Aulnoy, the Grimms, Andersen, maybe a few others. Not the most exciting thing to cover, since it doesn’t provide many hooks for debate, but it’ll be good to get everyone familiar with the basics before we dive into the nuts and bolts of tales.
I’ll probably post about the teaching experience from time to time, though of course there’s always the caveat that my students may find this journal and read it. I don’t anticipate that being a problem, but if for some reason I have a meltdown and decide I hate teaching the class (unlikely), you won’t get to hear about it. ‘sall sunshine and roses, here at Swan Tower. ^_^