Tag Archives: Teaching at the College Level

The View From My Desk: Week Two Of Classes

Hello to you! Today marks the second half of the second week of the term here at Lindenwood, and I’d like to welcome you to the chaos; everything from planning and preparing for what we’re doing in five different classes at three … Continue reading

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They Didn’t READ! What to do with unprepared students (besides just kicking them out and canceling class)

There is nothing less fun than being in a classroom with unprepared students, but the reality is that it is going to happen. When you are prepared for this possibility, you have the means to avoid unpleasant confrontations with students, and the ability to make sure your class can still be successful in meeting the goals you have set for it. Continue reading

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So, You’re Developing Your First Solo Class: A Brief Guide To College Course Levels

If you have never taught before, or have been a teaching assistant for a course but not Instructor of Record, the idea of developing your own syllabus can be a daunting one. What should you teach? How should you teach … Continue reading

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The “Back Pocket” Lesson Plan

“Back pocket” lesson plans are perfect for days when you’re too swamped to prepare carefully for a class session; when you’ve forgotten or are unable to access some element of a prepared lesson without which you cannot proceed as planned, like a handout or reading or audio-visual component, or when the Internet is unexpectedly down in the classroom; when you simply cannot think of something interesting or meaningful to do in class; for days when the planned lesson seems to be going flat; for days when you finish early and have ten or more minutes left in the session; or really, for any occasion when you want to turn the class over a little more to the students. Continue reading

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The Week In Review: September 21-26, 2015

The first thing I did this week was to set some boundaries for myself. Adding up an estimated number of hours I was spending on work for the past few weeks, I realized I was putting in 60+ hour weeks and getting very little return for the investment in terms of time for research and writing, mainly because I let my time be frittered away on non-essential things …. Continue reading

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“What’s in a name?”: Rethinking the “Essay” in the contemporary college classroom

I am going to argue here–perhaps, controversially–that the average poor performance on an essay at the college level has nothing to do with a student’s actual ability to complete such an assignment, and everything to do with the student’s misconception of what an “essay” is. While there are certainly “lazy students” who cannot be bothered to do the work, I find that the vast majority of mine are not lazy in the slightest; rather, they’re afraid of letting me down (and of getting a bad grade). Continue reading

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Countdown to Fall Term: 5 Things Returning TAs should be thinking about right now

Even though the summer isn’t quite over, if you are a returning graduate student with a teaching assignment, here are five things you should be thinking about right now and not, say, the weekend before classes start! Handling these items now will help streamline your return to the classroom and keep the beginning of the term from being a mad rush. Continue reading

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Things I Think About Before I Ever Enter a Classroom #3(4): How Does My Syllabus Support My View of Myself and My Class?

I apologize to everyone for the long hiatus. Comps. When I post about them you will understand, if you do not already, why that single word meant two and a half months of silence on my part when it comes … Continue reading

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Things I Think About Before I Ever Walk Into A Classroom #2: What do I want my students to get out of my class?

This post deals with two issues: First, “What do I want my students to get out of this class?” and second, “How am I going to accomplish those objectives through course readings and assignments. I. What do I want my … Continue reading

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Crafting a Syllabus, Part One

The position of graduate teaching assistant includes a wide array of duties and responsibilities. Dependent upon the college or university at which you working on your PhD, as a TA you may find yourself either assisting a professor with lab … Continue reading

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