Saturday, August 2, 2014

Emergency Instructions as Part of the Syllabus

photo by Geoge Hodan
by Ann Abbott

I promised myself I wouldn't start thinking about the fall semester until August. I'll be teaching two courses:
  • Business Spanish
  • Spanish in the Community
It's August 2nd.

So far I have had several conversations with a community partner organization that is going through personnel changes and setting new directions. I have also done a lot of email marketing of one of the classes that I teach. We're currently at nine students enrolled, and I need ten in order for it to not be cancelled.

To keep me grounded (because when I think about teaching my mind goes in a dozen different directions, one idea leading to the next, and the next...), I'll start with revising the course calenders and tweaking the syllabi.

This year we need to do something new with our syllabus and/or on the first day of class: discuss our university's emergency response recommendations and read a one-minute script to our students on the first day.

None of the classrooms are designed to protect us from a shooter. And let's not kid ourselves: we have tornadoes, yes, but we're not really talking about the weather in these scripts.

I will read the scripts, point out the exits and tell students things on the script that they already know. But saner gun laws in this country would be more effective than scripts.

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