Tag Archives: teaching

The View From My Desk: Week 11

Here is the photo I snapped of my desk on the first day of the 11th week of the Fall term: Of course, that it was taken on week eleven means that this photo was snapped on Hallowe’en, which is … Continue reading

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The View From My Desk: Week Six

Welcome back! We’ve just finished Week Six of classes, and naturally, that means that things are a bit more hectic around here than they were during Week Two. I’ve now taught 60 class sessions spread across five different courses, which … 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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“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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The Week In Review, March 9-15 2015 (Or, “You Call That a Spring Break?!”)

So, this week was our university’s spring break, which in teaching assistant terms when you are the instructor-of-record for your courses means, “the seven days you’ve got to catch up on all of the things you haven’t been able to … Continue reading

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Things I think about before I ever walk into a classroom #4(5): What Are My Pedagogical Values, and How Am I Going To Implement Them In My Teaching?

Things I think about before I ever walk into a classroom #4(5): What Are My Pedagogical Values, and How Am I Going To Implement Them In My Teaching? In this final post in my series on pedagogical considerations in the … 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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