The Surprising Relationship between Classroom Preparation and Teaching Satisfaction
I have been surprised at the relationship between the time I put into my face-to-face classes, and the satisfaction and fulfillment I get from those courses. I had expected a direct positive correlation, such that the more time I put into preparing for and planning my face-to-face courses, the better and more satisfied I feel about them. (I specify F2F because I think the relationship is different still in asynchronous courses. More on that to come.)
Figure 1. Expected Relationship Between Class Preparation and Satisfaction:
Figure 1 shows what I expected to find. I designed this graph by extrapolating off of my early career experience that "the more prepared I feel, the better class goes." I had learned, for example, that the best classes were the ones that I came into having spent a few hours reading and thinking through the problems we'd discussed the previous class period. The worst classes were the ones I came into having not thought at all about the class beforehand.
I assumed that more would be better.
But I assumed wrong.
Figure 2. Actual Relationship Between Class Preparation and Satisfaction: