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Monday, November 18, 2013

Is it me?

I don't understand what's going on. I just observed an adjunct who has been a serious problem in the past and about whom we get numerous complaints. William observed him earlier in the semester and rated the fellow's teaching "unsatisfactory." I know Bruce wants to get rid of the guy--mostly because of the chronic students complaints, but maybe for other reasons as well--but in all honesty, I can't say that I found the class completely unsatisfactory. I have problems with the guy's pedagogy, and some serious concerns about whether he's doing what we need him to do in order to prepare students for 102, but in the classroom itself, I didn't see a problem with his behavior with the students, and that's been the primary beef. In fact, a couple of the students joked around with him a little, there was some laughter--and, completely counter to the primary complaint, he was willing to answer questions and to admit when he'd made an error in marking their work.

So, what's up? This is the second time I've observed this guy, and both times I ended up feeling the same way: problems, but not a disaster. I'd say "needs improvement," which is what I said last time. Both times, however, I went in to observe after he'd already gotten into trouble. Is he cleaning up his act for me (or for whoever observes him after he gets called on the carpet, as it were)? Is he not as bad as others think? Or am I being too nice, too forgiving?

I generally "conference" with the observed person immediately after the class, mostly so as not to prolong the process. (I even did that with the one class I observed that I did rate unsatisfactory: confronted my colleague then and there with the problems.) But this time I asked for a little time to reflect first: I'll meet with this professor on Wednesday to conference--and meanwhile, I'll talk it all over with P&B. I honestly am baffled.

And I wanted to skip P&B tomorrow, and skip the department meeting--and now it seems I should at least make a cameo appearance at both. Dammit. I need time to mark student assignments. I suppose I can bail on the department meeting at least--or maybe another miracle will occur and I'll be able to get a lot more marked before the meeting than I anticipate, so I'll be ready for classes.

However, that won't happen if I don't get myself home and settled damned soon. Class was fine, nothing in particular to report--so I won't try to come up with more to say. Maybe more tomorrow. For now, I'm outa here.

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