I met the students for the first time - again - today. I am growing old. You see, I was just about moved to tears. Students are so incredibly fresh, like the term, like our plans and hopes, and there's so much that can happen from here on and through the next three years...
Anyway, to get away from the sentimental stuff:
We have a large group, almost doubled the number since the sudden low two years ago. This is something we are extremely happy about, and a challenge we're ready to meet. This is not the largest group we have worked with, but it is still big for a lot of the teaching-intensive subjects we teach.
Due to the reform of education in Norway, we now have very homogenous groups, where most students are young and have little work experience before they start. This is a challenge, as it means they have a lot to learn about society, but at the same time we have them for three years, not two, which means that we have more time for this process than we used to.
The information study staff are at a long-time high, there are less leaves and more of the regular staff at work at the same time than we have had for a long time. YAY for that, as working with a good, experienced staff makes life so much easier. It leaves room for all of us, if not for anything else, then to breathe in and out slowly a few times, look around and figure out what we are doing and what we should do. Definitely the best way to start a term.
The study has been tweaked in the last year, and I returned to find that it was changed to eliminate several of the issues that have been hard to work around. Do you understand what a good feeling that is: to go somewhere else and think about something else for a year and then return to something that works better than it did before I left? OK, the conclusion is that perhaps I should leave more often... but right now I am just delighted at the work that's been done while I was away.
And now I have a new class of students. Young, fresh, unmarked students. And this is where I quit before I get started again!