Today was the first day of the 2012/2013 academic year in NCI, and I had my first classes with a group of third year students. I decided not to load them with a lecture on the first day and to instead have a discussion about what has and has not worked for the students over their past two years in College. This gave me valuable insights into they think works so that maybe I can accommodate that into my own modules. So I forced the students to turn off computers and I sat at the back of the class to make them turn away from the board and screen. I think it worked - I know these students quite well at this stage, so the atmosphere was quite relaxed.
The new academic year is exciting for both students and faculty. Everyone starts off with a clean slate and there is no pressure to get assignments done - exams are months away. Nevertheless, we will have to get "stuck-in" pretty quickly as we have a lot to cover in the curriculum over the next 13 weeks. This is my 10th year as a full-time Lecturer in NCI (not counting the year in which I lectured part-time) - I started in August 2003. I have to say I have loved every minute of it and being in the classroom is the most satisfying experience that I have ever had in the education environment.
So I look forward to the new semester - I have two new subjects, so this will involve far more preparation than usual as I have to prepare new course resources. However, this is what I am paid to do - and I love doing it!