I met with the professor who currently teaches the course I will have in the spring today and she let me borrow the textbook for the class. It is giant and unwieldy.
I got a lot of information about how the class runs, what is expected of me, what is expected of the students, etc. And then the department chair introduced me to a group of students as "the new physics professor" and I laughed before I caught myself. Way to be cool, me. I am getting really excited.
Also exciting? I was offered a second section of the same class. Now I will be teaching T and F, 2-5pm. They offered me a third but it would have been on Monday and would have required I be there early enough to set up the experiment for the week and I just could not figure out how to make that work with Charlie's preschool schedule. Don't I sound like a dream come true to a potential department chair?
I am struggling with what the right decision is here, truthfully.
I figure on Friday I can pick Charlie up at school a little early and have him home or to whatever childcare arrangement I have made for them (still haven't discussed the additional hours with our Manny (my dad, who charges $10 an hour and a welcome home beer, a bargain really)) and make it to the university (panting and sweating) with plenty of time to compose myself before class.
On Monday I would have to be at my school an hour or more (I have no idea) earlier, which would mean someone else would have to pick Charlie up and I wouldn't see him between dropoff and my arrival home after class (a little before six). I realize that people do this every day, but I'm having a little trouble wrapping my head around the logistics.
The benefits of taking on the third class are all professional--more responsibility, more pay, gold stars for being a team player. But my heart says two is the way to go right now. There is a lot of time for me to work more hours if I want to; once I get a feel for what is required I can make a more informed decision for another semester (I hope). The chair was quite laid back about it, no pressure either way, do what is best for you, etc. I can't believe my luck in finding this department!
On the way out of the building today the chair said to me "You seem to have a really even personality, like you would do a good job handling students who get frustrated and want to give up." I think raising small children has more professional benefits than some would care to admit!