Saturday, September 6, 2014

Saying Yes to Online Teaching

It was one year ago today that I agreed to teach my first online class.  I wouldn't actually begin teaching until late October, but one year ago today, I said yes.

I was out with my friend and work colleague.  She had been in touch with the community college about teaching online classes, and while we were out, they called.  I gathered from her end of the conversation that they wanted her to teach another class.  She said she wanted only one so that she wouldn't be in over her head.

When she hung up, I said something like, "I'd like that kind of opportunity."

My friend said to me, "They're desperate for people.  They've had a surge in fall enrollment.  If you're serious, if you won't change your mind, I'll call them back right now."

In a life-changing moment, I said, "Call them back right now."

She called back and introduced me.  I spoke a bit on the phone.  Because I used to teach there, I was still in the system.  The appointment was set for Wednesday:  come downtown with my HR paperwork and meet the dean.  I did, and I was approved, even though I'd never taught online before.

They had some training sessions for us, but I still learned much more as we went along.  I was really glad that my friend and colleague was teaching online for the first time too.  We learned a lot from each other.

I've written more about what I learned in this post.  The conclusion to that post makes a good conclusion to this post:  "Overall, I'm glad I did it.  Even more, I'm glad I liked it, and I'm glad that I can support online classes as a way to deliver education.  I am fairly certain that the education of the future will contain a huge online component, and I'm glad it won't be an abomination for me."

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