Saturday, September 02, 2006

First Week of Teaching a NPU

Many of you have already come to know the experience of beginning a teaching career. Someone recently compared it to starting up a business. The first weeks, months and perhaps years are incredibly stressful and busy as you prepare new courses and lectures, hang with students and faculty and become acclimated to the institution.

At the end of my first week at North Park, I am relaxing on this Saturday morning with a cup of coffee taking stock of the week. My days have been long and full and I find that I am just a step (perhaps even a half-step) in front of the students. I am getting into my office early in the morning before my 9:15 class and just pulling off the printer my class notes as I dash to teach. What a pace!

However, I love this job! I love interacting with the students in my classes. I love the challenge of teaching the Bible to undergrads who have very diverse backgrounds and interests -- most haven't cracked the spine of a Bible. I am having a blast.

This is a long weekend for universities in the US as Labor Day is Monday. Perhaps I will get a couple of steps a head of my students this weekend, but probably not. I will probably watch baseball, hang with family and go to a movie instead; I really want to see the movie Invincible.

5 comments:

Ken Schenck said...

And the amazing thing is, we get paid to do it too! Who thought up this gig?

Congrats on a successful first week!

slaveofone said...

Back in my undergrad days, I took several religion classes as well as an evolution class. I still remember those classes vividly because there was always a spark in the environment. Most of the time it was ignited by the students in one way or another. There were a few fundamentalists that really got into some hissys. And I even remeber one girl breaking down and crying right there in class. I loved such a stimulating atmosphere where young people like myself were being shaped and molded--sometimes in ways we never expected. But other times it was the professor him/herself. I remember that the first day of evolution class, the professor told us all that if we were Christians, we better drop the class right away. Never thought I'd hear something like that...and from a professor... Funny how at the end of it all, I was closer to being a believer than I ever was before.

Nick Nowalk said...

Most haven't cracked a Bible open yet? Isn't North Park a Christian college in the Covenant denomination? I suppose it is like that at most Christian colleges these days. Wow...

Joel Willitts said...

Nick:

NPU has an open enrollment so you don't have to be a christian to attend, although the college is "intentionally christian". A very diverse student population attends both ethnically and religiously. It makes for very exciting teaching.

Nick Nowalk said...

That's good to hear! The ones I worry about are the Christian colleges where it is explicitly stated that the expectation is that students will be committed to Christ, where a written testimony of conversion is part of the application process, and then after all that you find out said student hasn't ever cracked open a Bible!