My husband and I spend a lot of time telling our sons to "stay focused." On breakfast, on finding their shoes, on finishing their homework...they're forever being distracted from the task at hand.

While it drives them nuts, the alternative can be worse--as I'm finding out today. Nobody told me to stay focused during this appallingly short break I've been on. So tonight I find myself frantically building syllabi in anticipation of tomorrow's classes.

It's not that I haven't taught these classes before. But as I've noted earlier, I'm revising my teaching approach pretty significantly, including the use of blogs as a teaching tool. Not only will the students be blogging their readings and interesting site finds, but we'll be installing and customizing Movable Type so that they learn CSS, SSI, .htaccess, etc in a concrete context.

The concept is fine, but it requires a shuffling of topics and presentation. Which then invalidates my previous schedule of assignments. Which then requires a rethinking of the assessment process. The more time I spend on this, the more time I realize it's taking. But I really do feel I should have a relatively accurate syllabus when I walk in the door of the lab tomorrow at 8am--it's a contract between me and the students, and the basis for their decision as to whether or not to stay in an early morning class during a Rochester winter.

Meanwhile, the XML class looms at 4pm tomorrow. But I think I can get through the first meeting of that with less trouble. (Famous last words...?)

So blog entries and blog reading have dropped to the bottom of the priority pile for the short term. I'm missing it already!

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This page contains a single entry published on December 2, 2002 11:09 PM.

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