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Back in the saddle

December 17, 2013, 9:49 am

Well, it’s been a few weeks months since I last posted here. The blog is still alive and so am I. I had to put this blog on unintended, unannounced hiatus for a couple of reasons.

First, and I’m glad for this, Fall semester was a hugely busy time for my speaking and consulting activity. If you go back to August, this semester I gave eight presentations – three of those being intensive workshops on the inverted classroom, and one of which was a keynote presentation at the MichMATYC conference. I really enjoy doing this sort of thing but at one point in October I was averaging one of these a week, and these presentations aren’t quick to produce. I’ve complained in the past that the people who tend to see running around to education conferences and telling people how to be better teachers are not themselves in the classroom; now I understand why. There’s just no way you can speak that frequently and maintain a normal schedule of teaching. I like speaking and consulting, but the lecture circuit is definitely not for me.

The other reason is that this year I am up for contract renewal at my institution. Most readers who’ve followed the blog for some time know that I came here in 2011, with tenure at my previous institution and 14 years of experience, but I elected not to receive any credit toward tenure. So I started back at square one – and now I am at the halfway point and up for review. I’ve finished the portfolio I needed to complete and now I am just waiting for the Big Meeting in January when my fate is decided by my department. But in the meanwhile, portfolio plus lots of presentations meant that something had to give, and hence there have been no blog posts.

But now that things have cleared out, I have a lot of catching up to do, and I’m happy to let you all know that I hope to resume regular posting here effective immediately. Here are some of the items you can expect to see:

  • A detailed debrief of the inverted calculus class. It’s all done and I’m now in full retrospection mode. The short version – it was a success on a number of levels. But not perfect, and there’s a lot to unpack. I hope you stick around for this, because I could use your thoughts, suggestions, imprecations, etc. to help me understand it all.
  • More “4+1” interviews. I have one ready to go and a few more waiting on replies.
  • On the more practical side – some semi-regular articles reviewing apps that are helpful for teaching and especially for teaching math; and some “profhack” articles drawn from my own experiences.
  • Hoping to do some regular blogging about what I am reading, especially research literature related to the inverted classroom. I get regular requests for research literature that supports the effectiveness of the inverted classroom as well as claims that there is no such literature. Probably it’s time to look at what’s out there, and be critical about it – I’m also interested in literature that does not support the inverted classroom.
  • More!

So thanks for sticking with me, and here’s to renewed blogging in the near future.

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