Introduction to the 6th Habit – Synergy

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.” ..... (read more)

The 6th Habit of Highly Effective College Instructors

Synergy

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.” ..... (read more)

Stephen Covey’s 7th Habit of Highly Effective People

Did Abe Lincoln think of it first?

When I think of Stephen Covey’s 7th habit, Sharpen the Saw, it reminds me of the famous Abraham Lincoln quotation:

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” ..... (read more)

The 7th Habit of Highly Effective College Instructors

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? ..... (read more)

Teaching Success Secrets

Do You Have the Personality to Succeed as an Instructor?

I found this presentation ( – – – open this post to see the presentation – – – ) on a website entitled SUCCESS 360. On slide 12 the author, Vadim Kotelnikov, suggests that one’s knowledge accounts for just 15 percent of that person’s financial success. Personality, he contends, is responsibility for the other 85 percent. ..... (read more)

Must You Care About Your Students’ Success?

You may not think so, but you really do!

Recently, I was skimming through my copy of The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life by Parker Palmer (see References page), and it reminded me of a character trait, an important one for an instructor, one that either you have or you don’t. Before I go any further let me say that while I recommend this book, it is not for everyone. Palmer takes a spiritual (not to be confused with religious) look at teaching and challenges his readers to look inward to explore who they are as a teacher. I you are thinking of making physics a full-time teaching career, read this book! If you are content with teaching one HVAC course each term, you may not enjoy this book. On the other hand, if you aren’t enjoying the course you are teaching, read the book whether you like it or not. You owe it to yourself. ..... (read more)

The Times They Are a Changin’

You didn’t sign up to be a counselor, or did you?

The current state of the economy, unemployment at double-digit levels, and the winter blahs (a.k.a. seasonal affective disorder or SAD) are all converging on us.  Metaphorically, we are flying over an educational version of the Bermuda Triangle!  This past week I talked to a number of people – students, parents of students, faculty and counselors – and we are all experiencing fallout of these tough times.  First and foremost, we must remember and be sensitive to how these factors affect our students. ..... (read more)