In the immortal words of Sam Gamgee at the end of The Lord of the Rings:
"Well, I'm back."
Sorry for the relative radio silence over the past couple of weeks. I've been training as an online "facilitator" (they don't call them instructors) for Axia College of The University of Phoenix. There were about ten people in our training group to start with, and I suspect everyone was surprised at how intense the training experience turned out to beI know I was. There were written assignments and "Discussion Questions" due almost every day, and in addition we were expected to contribute regularly and frequently to an online discussion forum where we thought and talked about the theory and practice of teaching online from just about every conceivable angle. We had some no-shows and several dropouts along the way, I suspect because they underestimated the time and effort it would take to complete the training and realized they couldn't keep it up when they considered what else was going on in their lives.
Overall, I feel fairly positive about how I did. I received an evaluation from the instructor (oops, facilitator) at the end of the first week, and the only specific thing she mentioned that needed improvement was my level of participation in the online forums. I made sure I ramped that up this week. My classmates reacted very positively to what I had to say, and they all struck me as intelligent and highly motivated people. I should get some official feedback on my performance later in the week, including word on whether I can advance to the next, more specialized round of facilitator training. (I told one of my classmates it feels a bit like being a contestant on "American Idol"). Stay tuned. We'll see what happens next. In the meantime, however, now that I can relax a bit, I've got some comic books to read. See you later.