Today’s my one year anniversary of teaching at the college. I decided to pull my post from a year ago listing the Top 10 things I learned my first week teaching:
- Don’t assume that since they’re in college they’ll act like it.
- Let them express themselves in their work…as I recently read, “Creativity is the fire of an entrepreneur, the ingenuity of an engineer, the curiosity of a scientist, the intuition of a police detective, the resourcefulness of a firefighter, the reflexes of a quarterback, the precision of a surgeon, the cunning of a lawyer, the patience of a teacher, the courage of a soldier.”
- Just like children, students need clear boundaries.
- A syllabus is NOT a legal document… “Tentative” should be written all over it!
- Listen to your more-senior colleagues (which includes just about everyone there). No matter how well you think you understand the academic world, you still don’t understand the new institution of which you’re a part. Organizations have different “unwritten” rules and only your colleagues can save you from them.
- Don’t listen to everything your colleagues say. I know this contradicts the prior thing I learned, but everything has its flipside.
- As for class prep, keep it simple and your students will actually learn more.
- Students can hear your stomach growl from the back of the room.
- Do not annoy IT guys on campus. Just assume that the computers hate you and that anything you do to assuage their hate will only make matters worse. The IT dept is the political headquarters for computers; they can make your day or smash it w/ one single keystroke!
- Two words, academic claustrophobia…get out a little and breathe some fresh air.
So, there you go…the top 10…hopefully, w/in the next week, I’ll try to develop the Top 10 Things I Should Have Learned My First Week Teaching