EXPERT ADVICE

 

Between my first semester of teaching and my thesis journey, I have had the opportunity to hear some honest and knowledgeable advice from the experienced instructors surrounding me. I wanted to pass this wisdom on to all of the new educators, out there starting on this amazing path of academia. Enjoy

  • You will learn something new every class—every year, but improvement will take time.
     

  • Use a journal and write in it every week so you can look back and make positive changes the next time.
     

  • Not all students will “like” you. That’s ok, because you probably won’t like all of them either.
     

  • There is a difference between leniency and flexibility; know the difference
     

  • As instructors we have a lot of knowledge and experience.—don’t forget that your students don’t have that same point of reference. Try to avoid being the expert on stage and involve your students learning whenever you can.
     

  • You will tend to teach the way you, yourself learn the best, but many of your students will not learn the way you do. Be aware of different learning styles and make adaptations that are best for your students.
     

  • The first few semesters are tough and extremely time consuming. Don’t worry, you will gain your footing and get in a rhythm.
     

  • Prepare, work hard and be the best teacher you can be, but if things don’t go the way you planned adapt, don’t apologize.
     

  • Plan each lesson fully. Don’t worry about being weeks ahead of your students. First look at what you are doing tomorrow and be ready.
     

  • It is tempting to want to change the way you have set up your course when something isn’t quite working half way through the semester. Don’t. Unless whatever isn’t working is causing your students to riot in the streets, simply make notes on what to change for next semester.
     

  • The first semester teaching any new class or curriculum is extremely work-intensive and time consuming whether you are a new educator or a seasoned pro. It can also be extremely rewarding.
     

  • Check in with your students. Is your content relevant to them? Is your means of instruction effective.
     

  • Check for learning and then check again. You may think you are presenting amazing material, but if the students aren’t learning from it, it does not matter how amazing you think it is.
     

  • Have fun, get to know your students. Why are they there? What are their interests? The more you understand them, the easier it will be to help them learn.

 

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© 2017 Pamela Glander | Currently for MFA thesis educational use only