The Waiting Room

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Substitute

Posted by Seeking Solace |

One of the things I don't like about Elsewhere College is that I cannot cancel a class if I am sick or can't be at work for whatever reason. I have to get another faculty member to cover the class. In the past, this has been rather problematic, as there are not too many people "qualified" to teach what I teach. I make sure that any assignment is something that can be easily administered by someone without a law degree.

Last term, I reviewed all the emergency plans for all the courses in the program. I changed the plans so that the substitute can give assignments that would keep the students on track, meet learning outcomes and not be considered "busy work".

Well, the "powers that be" have decided that my emergency plans, along with several others, are not suitable. They claim that because textbook updates, it would be difficult for the substitute to ensure that the information in the plan matched the new text.

Um..ok...that just means that I have to make sure that the plans are updated on a regular basis, right?

Nope.

They also said that I could not include working on an assigned research project because not every instructor gives the same project.

Huh? So, see my response to the last one.

They said that the assignment should be something that enhances critical thinking skills and learning outcomes for the course.

OK, I'm listening...

Then, it was suggested that a crossword puzzle could be a form of critical thinking.

WTF?

There is no way in hell that I would EVER give a crossword puzzle as a critical thinking assignment.

Seriously, that makes no sense to me. It's offensive to me, particularly because I've taught critical thinking for many years, and never, and I mean NEVER have I used a crossword puzzle as a means to promote critical thinking to a college class.

Can you imagine what students would say?

So, I am working on, revamping the what was already revamped emergency plan. I wonder if I should come up with a lesson plan to teach some of the people I work with what critical thinking is.

'Cause I don't think they have a clue.

4 comments:

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

Hmmm... I've had roughly a billion Critical Thinking and Logic students -- in Philosophy Critical Thinking is baby logic, in essence -- not one of my textbooks has a crossword, word find, hang-man game in it. Once I used a colleague's Jeopardy game as a review.

I've both had subs and been the sub... sometimes at the last minute, and all I had was the syllabus and reading assignment for the day. It seemed to work out ok...

Seeking Solace said...

ITPF: I'm the same way. Although,I teach paralegals, using a word find just doesn't seem to fit.

And I've done the same as you. And it has worked out just fine.

Sherlock said...

Oh good grief WTF is right!! I've been teaching critical thinking and logic for a few years now and it's easy to come up with activities based on the existing syllabus whether or not one is an expert in the curriculum. Any idiot can follow a syllabus. Instead of lecture, the students can work in groups to research the lecture topic for the day and then present their group findings to the class. It's not teacher lecture but they learn more collaborating and teaching each other. Then the regular teacher can pick up when he/she gets back and fill in the blanks, clarify, etc.

Seeking Solace said...

Sherlock: Exactly. My emergency plans call for those types of things. At minimum, they have to work on assignments that review the previous lecture topics.

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