Week 8 Retrospective
What went well:
I’ve figured out that if I get everything done on Sunday, I feel a lot better about how the week goes. Since I’ve already made all my lectures and homeworks, it’s just a matter of cleaning them up a bit. I really don’t have to do too much for lectures aside from add announcements, so those aren’t too bad. For homeworks, I didn’t have the foresight of testing before I started, but now I have a script that creates all the files necessary to test student unit tests, so I just run that script and fix the code a bit, then upload it. I also make the quiz to send out to my TA’s to check, which has been working pretty well and has led to no mistakes and good timing. Lastly, I take a look at what to do in lab. I’ve pretty much been taking lab material from past GIR instructors and then putting those questions into Mimir, so that’s also not too bad. I usually do all of this after hiking on Sunday, and it doesn’t take too long. It’s worth it because my headspace for the rest of the week is much more relaxed.
Students asking questions during nested loops! That was fun. During lab, I had the sudden inspiration to have students explain what the nested loop example was doing, and I also had the foresight to have them submit their exercise about halfway through the given time. About half of them hardcoded the lists, so I mitigated this and told them to do otherwise.
My talk on building an app went really well. I did a lot of prep for it, but the slides were good and I ended up diving a bit deeper into frontend because that’s what I work on and there’s not going to be a dedicated frontend talk. I’m pretty happy at how I thought of setting the stage for all the other upcoming talks.
I went to GIR cohort call for once! It was pretty fun, and one of the other GIRs was saying how a lot of his students go to lecture but don’t turn in work. After I heard that, I was really grateful that I don’t have that problem. Another GIR was saying how he’s sort of co-teaching but not really, and that was kind of interesting to hear. I enjoyed talking to them, and it seemed like I had a lot of answers instead of problems. My experience is going pretty smoothly now, probably because I’m more than halfway through the semester. We also talked about whether to teach loops before functions or vice versa, and to be honest, I don’t think I really thought much about that. It just seemed natural for while loops to come after if / else conditions.
What could be improved:
The turnout for the tech series talk was lacking. I need to figure out how to market this better.
I’m half and half on this next one — my search project directions seem to be clear for some students but not as clear for others. I’ll do some twiddling around for this to make sure it’s clear for part 2. Also, I accidentally uploaded the solution code at some point, and there were mistakes in the starter code when I uploaded it. Yikes.