“I am sure they’ll take you,” Annette had told me last spring. “You have an even better background than I do for this sort of thing.”
She was referring to the classes she taught at Miami University; not the big campus half an hour north of where we lived, but the local satellite campus in a town called Hamilton. A few times a year she taught a computer camp for teenagers; I’d come and visited her during one session last spring. She had been teaching the students the basics of Microsoft Word, but doing so in fun ways that would interest the kids. She made candy bar wrappers, gift bags, stationery and the like.
It was right up my alley. I was looking for something part time to do, and obviously teaching was perfect fit. I had told her that I would love to teach a basic web design class in the same structured format, the five day a week camp format that she taught. Annette thought it was a great idea, and suggested I bring a class format outline and my resume with me when I visited her. Sure enough, she had invited the Director to come and meet me.
It took less than a minute for the Director of Continuing Education to offer me a position in their Summer Camp program.
I was rather shocked at how easy it had all been. Since I would be teaching at a University, I didn’t have to do anything to renew my teaching certificate, even though I was teaching children. Even if I had been teaching adults, I later found out, I wouldn’t need any teaching certification. This was amazing to me. I had thought all along that standards for university teaching would have been even higher than K-12 instructors, but this was not the case. All it took for me to get contract work at the university was one person in an office that thought I was qualified to do the work.
I was even more floored to get a phone call a week prior to my class from the Office of Continuing Education. They wanted me to submit all of my teaching materials ahead of time so that they would be copied for me in time for my class. “Wait,” I’d stammered into the phone. “You do all the copying for me?”
“Well of course we do,” the secretary responded. “We’ll have your class list ready for you that day. It looks like you’ll have a full house.”
My heart skipped a beat, a little. “How many is full?” I asked. I’d taught computers at the middle school, once, on my prep period. That class had 27 students, and I remember that at times it felt a little like a “Whack a Mole” game, running from machine to machine to help the students.
“Fifteen is a full class,” the secretary told me. “You’re a hot ticket.”
I laughed. “Fifteen is a full class?” Wow. They do all of my copying and cap my classes at fifteen.
“I could get used to this kind of teaching,” I told her as I hung up the phone.