I can’t quite believe it myself, but I have held my first permanent job for exactly a year now! I suppose I feel a little bit like the returning second year undergraduates who this week are heading back to their respective institutions for more studying (and partying!). The new second years, including me, feel really excited to be going back, a little more confident in our abilities than this time last year, but slightly apprehensive at the thought of many months of hard work and new challenges coming our way. And just like a second year student, this year is the time for me to start making concrete long term career plans!
What does induction week, hold for a lecturer? I was slightly disappointed at the weekend to find that my institution was still scoring pretty low on student satisfaction in the Sunday Times survey of universities, although an improvement was made on last year. Interestingly Buckingham gets the highest rating for student satisfaction and it’s the UK’s only private university…what does that mean I wonder? I am going to try my hardest to help students get the most out of their experience of history at MMU and perhaps make them a bit more ‘satisfied’!
Induction week varies at different universities. From my point of view it means giving 5 minute talks to a number of different cohorts trying to encourage them to come on my courses. The key to this is not to over-prepare! There’s not a lot you can say in 5 minutes so I just talk without notes about why I think my courses are great. Be enthusiastic and relate your subject to the present day and students’ own experiences and you’ll have sold them successfully!
Other than that, I’ll be writing lots of lectures. I found last year that it was really useful to get a few weeks ahead at this time in the term so that any teething problems can be dealt with without panicking! It’s important this year as our faculty now has a centralized admin team, not departmental offices as before. It will be a challenging few weeks for everyone, even us returning second years, as we find out how the system will work. So good luck everyone who is going back to uni this week, whether you are lecturers or students, especially other second years like me!