My week as a lecturer…3 weeks in (autumn term)

This was me at the beginning of the Summer Term. Yes, I made it over to Australia for my first research visit with the fantastic tweeps in Wollongong, Sydney and Melbourne!

Harbour Bridge, Sydney

Harbour Bridge, Sydney

It is now 3 weeks into the Autumn Term and I just don’t know where the time has gone. This was my first full year as a lecturer – mixing the teaching, admin and research with everything that goes on in this wonderful job. I am teaching my course again this term – yes, twice in one year to two different cohorts. My course for those who don’t know is First Year Human Geography Principles and Practice. The first image below is my course handbook, we discuss being a geographer, thinking geographically and doing geography – getting at those geographical origins, ideas of interdisciplinarity, and concepts of space, place and scale.

Human Geography Principles and Practice Handbook

Human Geography Principles and Practice Handbook

The first week was brilliant (and a little bit exhausting – my course has now become compulsory for all students with human geography elements in their degrees so I have 92 students at 9am on a Monday morning). I got the session off to a flying start with some human geography bingo – yes – a bingo sheet with lots of different questions that required students to talk to each other and fill their sheets with names. I followed this up with some small group discussions about a set of images, including the Shard, Great British Bake Off, James Bond, Fairtrade teabags, oil painting, semi-detached house, and how they related to human geography in the 21st century. Expanding those ideas of geography at A-level to degree-level. Week 2 focussed on geographical origins and contemporary influences, followed by a focus on ‘space’ in week 3. I’ve incorporated the podcast by Doreen Massey into this session (below) – I decided to trial flipping the classroom and asked students to answer a set of questions around the podcast for discussion in the session.

The start of this term has also involved various activities around an admin area that interests me: student recruitment. I spent the last open day in the ‘Dome’. A great exhibition space where we meet and greet potential students and visitors…

In the dome on open day with our V-C

In the dome on open day with our V-C

One thing that has really motivated me this term is hearing from my dissertation students. Learning what they’ve been up to over the summer with their projects and helping them plan their final bits of research, analysis and writing this term, particularly as they juggle ‘research’ with the usual Third Year module commitments. This motivated me to get my own research in order. The tree health project is entering an exciting phase, involving the recruitment of citizens for in-depth interviews. I have a couple of departmental seminars to prepare for this term, so the talk of dissertations prompted me to get my own materials in order…

Tree Health files, notebooks...that's only half of it...

Tree Health files, notebooks…that’s only half of it…

So that was the first few weeks of term. The lowlight has been having the dreaded “fresher’s flu” this week. It has dampened enthusiasm somewhat. I’ll be back next week with some more posts about life as a lecturer. I’ll leave you with this video I used this week in class.

One thought on “My week as a lecturer…3 weeks in (autumn term)

  1. Pingback: My week as a lecturer #5…essays, procrastination, trees and a royal tweet | The Culture of Enthusiasm

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