If this is your first year standing in front of a classroom full of students, we’ve compiled 30 nuggets of wisdom from professors and teachers at universities, community colleges, and high schools to help get you through the year ahead. Good luck! We’re sure you’re going to be great.
Encourage students to understand the content and not just memorize it. Teach and encourage students to be self-sufficient, ask good questions, and be a vested partner in their learning journey.
Big picture advice: Teach critical thinking and problem-solving. Practical: Try to plan the number of minutes each activity or section of your lesson plan will take. Practice the presentation/lecture
portions. Make sure you have extra (optional) activities in case you get done with the plan quicker than expected.
Teach your students not just what to learn, but how to learn it.
If you do not know the answer to a question, tell the student you will have an answer next class period.
As a new instructor, take advantage of the work that Wiley has already done for you. When making assignments, first check the assignment bank to see what is there already. USE THOSE!
Try to make eye contact, slow down, and if you are enjoying this activity, your students will do so as well
Decide whether you want to be kind or nice; nice is about being loved by your students, and being kind is about helping them improve.
Teach one lesson at a time.
Show passion in what your teaching! If you demonstrate your love for a topic, students will see that you think it's important, and they will also think its important. If you don’t care about your topic, why should your students?
No matter what, get your grades in on time!
There is a lot of advice out there, but BE YOURSELF -- students can sense if you are genuine!
Be idealistic, dream big, and push boundaries. Always study, learn, and try new ideas and methods.
Your first year is the toughest because you need to create everything. Utilize anything you can that is already established-PowerPoints®, question banks, etc. Then, think about the future. Make sure any changes you make can be applied to future classes. Then, future years will go smoothly, which allows you more time to make any changes you want.
Look to the future. At the start of each year (or over the summer or whenever you have you a break in between years or semesters), write a mission statement for your class(es)...this is where you would want to be in 5 years for your course. At the end of each of semester or year, go back and look at it and revisit it. It's a great way to see the growth of your goals and how things can change completely due to student needs or stay the same. Using an electronic document like Google docs is nice.
Teaching is a journey. Keep an open mind to new ways of doing things and improving your instruction. Stop and ask students how the class is going and what you can do to improve it. Don't be hesitant to ask more seasoned instructors for advice or ideas.
Are you an experienced college instructor or high school teacher?
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