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DECEMBER 26, 2007    

Instructors needed

Since Sharon & her two kids arrived this morning, today was an all-family day—with one exception. As part of my job at Cuyahoga Community College I have to find and schedule instructors for classes in several of the Visual Communication & Design areas. I always intend to get this done early, but in reality it often happens very close to the start of the semester. It can get pretty stressful as the first day of class approaches if there are still blank lines under "Instructor" in the schedule.

So today before I could enjoy spending time with my family I had to do something to fill in the blanks remaining in the Spring schedule. At 11:30 a.m. I sent an email to 20-30 previous or present part-time instructors. By 2:30 pm I'd heard back from 6 or 7. Seeing all those emails was very reassuring— now I just need to spend time matching people with classes. I feel a little like a football or baseball coach, looking at individual strengths and weaknesses, trying to put the best lineup on the field.

Being a good teacher requires a number of characteristics, and people have them in different combinations:

Courses are different too, and the right person for an introductory course that involves a lot of software learning might not be the best for an upper-level class that stresses group projects. So tomorrow I'll take everyone's interests and schedules and try to assemble the puzzle that is staffing for the forty or so courses we offer.

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