When it comes to applying Habit #1 - Be Proative - adjuncts and new full-time faculty are at a distinct disadvantage. Through no fault of their own, they may not understand the scope of their power and authority.
To be truly effective as a teacher you must begin with the end in mind - the learning outcomes or learning objectives for your course. … The purpose of an instructor is to help students achieve the learning outcomes of the course. The metaphorical image of an instructor at sea in a boat without a rudder is applicable to those who are not driven by this purpose.
Put First Things First
Stephen Covey’s 3rd Habit of Highly Effective People is to “Put First Things First.” Covey sets the framework for this practice by introducing the Time Management Matrix on page 151 of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I bet you have seen one version or another of this in the past. It provides an interesting lens through which to view our lives. To use a common idiom, this can be an “eye opening” lens. Covey contrasts the important activities in our lives with the unimportant. Then he categorizes them as urgent or not urgent. Crises and major problems are important and urgent, while planning and relationship building are important though not urgent. You get the point.
There will be students who do not pass, but the Win/Win instructor never lets a Win/Win student fail.
Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
Stephen Covey’s 5th Habit of Highly Effective People addresses an important aspect of interpersonal communication. Covey begins with a claim that really applies to me. He says, “We have such a tendency to rush in, to fix things up with good advice. But we often fail to take the time to diagnose, to really, deeply understand the problem first,” (p. 237). As with Covey’s other habits, this one has some unique applications for college faculty members. I will begin with one of the most important things college instructors need to understand about understanding. Covey doesn’t cover this.
The 6th Habit of Highly Effective College Instructors
The Compact Oxford English Dictionary defines synergy as the “interaction or cooperation of two or more agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.”
Putting this in the context of college instruction, Dr. Paul (that’s what they call me around the college … to my face that least 😉 ) defines synergy as “the cooperation of students and their instructors to enhance student learning beyond what could be achieved by students or instructors alone.”
Introduction to Synergy
In his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey presents Synergy as the 6th Habit.
In the introductory article I posted Friday, I gave a dictionary definition of synergy, which was the “interaction or cooperation of two or more agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.”
Sharpen the Saw
In his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey shares his thoughts about leading a well balanced life. This is what “Sharpen the Saw” is all about.
As I read and reread the chapter entitled “Sharpen the Saw” I pondered how I was going to make this real and relevant for college faculty. What am I going to say? It could be a short article. It may be difficult for me to provide the 1,500 to 2,000 words you normally see in my articles. What? Did I hear someone say that would be a good thing?