Classrooms on base...
I first started teaching college courses many years ago on an army base in Germany where we had recently moved due to my husband's change of duty station. The teaching situation was very different from teaching science in a public high school!
Gone were the days of arranging the room to best suit my needs, no more bulletin boards to post clever ways to remember content or display great student work. No construction paper, no chalk, no beakers. Supplies were limited to the overhead projector I had checked out for the semester which lived in my car and lugged to back and forth to class. I had to purchase my own transparencies and pens!
My classes met once a week for 3 hours in the evening so it was important to have a variety of activities to keep the students engaged. If I needed handouts, I had to run to the education office during the work day to make copies. Any other manipulatives I had to purchase and prepare on my own - yarn for cell division, beans for natural selection and potatoes for the osmosis lab.
Adjuncts at Community Colleges...
Now I also teach at the community college. While challenges remain there are noticeable improvements in the learning environment.
The lab classes are a dream - I walk into a well stocked lab with the day's materials ready to go for each group of students. I plug in my power point and go!
The lectures, though, meet in classes where professors of all subject matters drop in for their hour then quickly clear out for the next class. There's just enough time to load a power point onto the computer!
Fortunately the community college lectures are limited to 48 students so no huge lecture halls with bolted down seats. My students can skootch their chairs together when working in groups and then set the class back into rows for the next class. I still have to supply my own manipulatives, and science learning centers are envelopes instead of bins, since that's what fits in my bag. I have plenty of board space, plenty of dry erase markers, and can easily have copies made and delivered to the science office for pick up at my convenience.
Sharing a classroom...
Sharing a classroom, though, has it's drawbacks. When teaching genetics and punnet squares I came armed to class with fistfuls of dry erase markers so all of my students could have space at the boards to practice and share - but one board was filled with a chart about the stages of respiration with a big "DO NOT ERASE" sign at the top.
When it was time for my go to osmosis activity, the night before the lesson I borrowed some beakers and salt from the lab and snuck them into a corner of the lecture classroom so I wouldn't have to run around the day of the activity. The teacher holding a lecture when I snuck in was not amused!
Being an adjunct has it's challenges. There's no guarrantee that I'll have classes to teach each semester, and when I do, the financial compensation is minimal. Thank goodness my husband's job and benefits make up for this. The opportunity to work with students in a field I love along with the flexibility to raise my own children has been such an asset for my family.
Thanks to #EDUBLOGSCLUB Week 2 - My Classroom or Office for providing inspiration for this blog!
Sharing a little bit of science in our everyday world .
Email to Class
Class Pics on Twitter
Science of Hockey
Road Salt and Ice
Blog Story - Science!
Snow - Climate Change
Flood in Ellicott City
Reindeer, Moose, Musk-ox
Oil, Gold, Power
Why I Blog
View Meteor Shower
Iron Age to Van Gogh - Native/Invasive species
Forest to Spa
Delaware to Germany/Grow Hedges
Space-A Vacation/How Planes Fly
Snake in my Yard
Assasin Bugs/Japanese Beetles
Venus Fly Trap
Blogs I Follow:
DNA Science Blog
Endless Forms Most Beautiful
Mom's Big Year