Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Schedule Planning

This week is spring break for YVCC. I don't have a much of a break myself, since I am installing work for Storefronts in Seattle (on Mercer in the South Lake Union area) on Thursday and Friday. I'll also be working at CORE Gallery this coming Saturday for the last day of the current show.

Yesterday I spent most of the day at YVCC working on curriculum with my department, so today and tomorrow are the only days I can get my classes prepped and spend some time in the studio.

Today I am firing a kiln (which doesn't look very exciting) and preparing for spring quarter classes which start next week. Next quarter I will be teaching an alarming sounding six classes, several of which overlap with each other in time. I teach overlapping classes so that I can offer upper level classes for students continuing in clay. This quarter I will be teaching Intro to Clay, Intermediate Wheel, Intermediate Hand-building and two sections of Functional Pottery, as well as a handful of Independent Study students.

The only class I haven't taught before is Intermediate Hand-building, though I taught an experimental version of it a few years back for a student who was technically registered for Independent Study. One of my most daunting tasks today was putting together a calendar for the various classes. I like to keep a calendar posted in the clay studio so that students know what to expect for lectures, demos or due dates on a given day. It also helps me keep track of which classes are doing what on which days. Especially with two sections of the same class and two sections of overlapping classes, it helps me to not forget a demonstration or assignment.

Usually I can just recreate the previous quarter or year's calendar, but this spring's schedule has a few extra surprises I need to factor in. I have the new hand-building class and I'm going to miss a few days for various things, but I want to make some changes to my Intro to Clay class schedule. The class is relatively new (this will be the third time I've taught it) and though I was generally pleased with the class last fall, I didn't feel that the students had enough time on the wheel.

Additionally, with the Intermediate Hand-building class meeting at the same time, I need to leave enough time for introductions, demonstrations and discussions with students in both classes. With only 2 hours of class per day, I don't have much room for error if I'm going to cover all the material I wish to cover.

The schedule looks a bit messy in it's current draft, but I'll be revising it tomorrow when I go in to school. My work time today is already almost over, since the kids are on short days for conference week. If you'd like to take Functional Pottery, I still have room in my classes.

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