Friday, November 18, 2011

TGIF - Teaching Advice and November Happy Hour

Please join us for the EGSA Teaching Seminar today from 12:30-4:30pm in Rome 771. We have three interesting sessions with an exciting group of speakers. For more details, check out Facebook or this blog post. We would also like to invite you to join us after the event for a November Happy Hour at TGI Fridays right near main campus (see the location and map to the right of this post). We will meet up from 4:30-6:30, and we hope you can take a study break and join us!

We also want to begin the online content from the Teaching Seminar today, knowing that many of you will not be able to join us. Throughout this process we have come across many interesting articles, resources, and teaching suggestions that will appear on this blog over the next few weeks. To begin with, we polled some faculty and graduate students about their top advice for new or beginning teachers. Our department chair, Dr. Gayle Wald, kindly offered the following advice:

1. Plan well but don't over-plan. Unless you're lecturing, scripted classes will inevitably disappoint. 
2. Try using rubrics for grading. I'm using them for the first time this semester, and it's going very well. I never thought I'd say that, but it's true.
3. Students today are accustomed to multimedia. It's nice to be able to give students various ways in to material: visual, oral, tactile, etc. Try using video, reading aloud, incorporating handouts, having students compile notes which someone writes on the board.
4. Try at least one experimental assignment each time you teach--you never know what will work. 
5. Approach each class with a set of objectives. What do you want your students to LEARN? (This is different from what you want to get through.) 
6. Be VERY clear about your expectations on the first day and on the syllabus. After that, don't be afraid of enforcing them.
7. Do not get involved in students' dramas. This is especially important when you are a grad student and (often) closer to undergrads in age. Be friendly and supportive, of course, but draw the line clearly. Refer students to other resources (deans, counselors, etc.) when necessary.
8. Don't forget to use your Chair! (Not the one you sit on--me!) If you need back-up or want an opinion about how to handle a situation, please ask. Often there are department policies that can guide you challenging situations. If a student is every disruptive, let the chair of the department know.

Do you have any suggestions or advice? Please leave a comment or email us - and don't forget to check back often (or subscribe with our new email service) because we will continue to post online content from today's sessions. 

No comments:

Post a Comment