After agreeing on our coffee/tea/cookie preferences we talked about how the first few classes went for everybody. In particular, we updated the things we were excited and worried about. For some of us, our initial worries had disappeared and our concerns lay elsewhere.
We did some more goal setting to refine our ambitions this term. We pondered the questions:
Generally what were the responses? We are interested in retention of skills and takeaway messages; engaging students through questioning, participation, and hooks; and understanding the level/background of our students.
We agreed to bring lecture notes next week to work on in groups with the idea of making small changes to start addressing our goals. I'm excited since next week will see the appearance of my preferred coffee/tea/cookie!
At our first meeting, we each talked about what we will be teaching this year. I organized an an activity where we wrote down and shared one thing that we are excited about teaching, and one thing that we are worried about teaching. Sharing these excitements and worries with the group really allowed for a open discussion about teaching and what difficulties we are all expecting to face in the first couple classes. These concerns will form the basis for what we are going to talk about and help each other with in the coming weeks, and we will revisit our excitements and worries at the next meeting.
We also decided that we should call our group GSISG, an acronym for Graduate Student Instructor Support Group. Saraí suggested that Super Group was more fun, and the name stuck. Agreed on the name, we also all agreed on our goals for the term, and are excited to (1) support each other, (2) try something new in our classrooms, and (3) do peer review of teaching.
We also chatted a bit about our specific plans for the first day of classes, and whether or not we're using the document camera or chalk boards. If you like the document camera, are you going to put the paper in portrait or landscape orientation?