To be able to write about your own work is to confirm to yourself that you understand it.
8.00 am: A communion. 8.30 am:
8.45 am: I made final preparations for the beginning of the Vocational Practice module at 9.00 am. Due to some an understandable apprehensiveness on the part of some students to meet face-to-face, we held the second class, on ‘Small-Group Teaching’, online. I rather like the informality of watching folk stroke cats, get under the duvet, and eat toast ‘in class’. These leaking domesticities aid the students to relax and bring familiarity into this strange new world of education.
10.45 am: The group and I are adapting to the means of delivery and reception, and to one another. I concluded the teaching with a series of uploads (podcast, handout, and PowerPoint) and notifications regarding the next class. On, then, with the drear of postgraduate admin. The sun had broken through the clouds momentarily, which lifted the spirits and strengthened the arm for battle. The trick with generating new admin is to adapt old admin as far as possible. After all, who would want to write a 13-page report from scratch?
I don’t think that I’ve ever felt so tired at this point in the new academic year. 1.30 pm: On with two MA tutorials. Beginning a new module in creative practice is a slow and tentative process. At times, students sense that they’re only crawling across the runway. ‘It’ll come. It’ll come.’ But in that process of edging gradually towards something, the route (but not the (destination, mercifully) was getting clearer. The conversations were enabling us to get into one another’s head. 2.30 pm: Back to both itty-bitty and bigtime admin. In response to a missive from one of our newbie part-time and temporary tutors — who was reflecting on their first week of teaching — I wrote:
I knew you could do it. Tenacity and shear bloody-mindedness need to be part of the teacher’s armoury. In my first year of teaching, which was at an FE college teaching everything and everyone that moved, my preparation was only ever one day in advance of its delivery. And I thought I was doing rather well, considering.
7.30 pm: Following a family WhatsApp time, I faced-down small admin tasks for teaching and research that stubbornly refuse to leave my ‘to-do’ list.