Understanding how complex the role of a college instructor and create a plan for self development.
Help for Adjuncts and New College Teachers
Why do I ask? I am looking for the topics that interest you readers. Here’s what I am wondering:
- What do you want to read about?
- Do you have some advice you would like me to post?
- Do you have any specific questions?
- What problems are you having?
- Would you like me to send you money?
If you answered yes to the last question, this is the point where I could ask you for your bank account number and password so I can deposit huge suns of money directly in your account. Hold off on that information. I would prefer not to be arrested for Internet fraud. 😉
I chuckle a bit when I think about job postings for part time college instructors that call for two years prior teaching experience. It’s the chicken or egg thing. Which comes first? You mean you can’t get a job teaching unless you have had a job teaching? Well, I am being a bit facetious, but the question remains, how do you get a job with little or no prior teaching experience?
Think about the best college instructor you ever had. What was special about him or her? How do you match up to that standard? More importantly, how do your students and your college administrators judge your quality?
I would complete the review of my syllabus, start to move on, and then interject, “I almost forgot something. Did I mention that I won’t be teaching you anything this semester?”
Use YouTube Videos as Teaching Aids
Each time I check for online I find more and better videos, ones well suited for the college classroom. There are variety of reasons an instructor should use this vast resource.
You are going to wonder why I am telling you this story!
I recently read The Devil in the White City. This book weaves together the fascinating history of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition with the macabre, heinous acts of one of the world’s worst serial killers.
A simple way to lose your job.
There will always be students who enroll in courses and drop during the term. I put them into three categories:
- There is the “infant mortality” group who attend one class and then get while the gettin’ is good.
- There are those who don’t apply themselves and then, well into the course, realize that they are doomed to failure and drop.
- And finally, there are those who dislike their instructor and don’t feel he is doing the job. They usually hold out until shortly before or shortly after mid-term. By the way, they often complain “to the boss.”
So, how does an instructor keep students in class? Forget it. Why bother? In fact, don’t worry about it if your goal is to lose your job, because you’re history if you lose a significant percentage of your students.
No, but you do need to help them learn.
A common complaint I hear from students is that their teacher doesn’t explain things well. It may be that the instructor actually explains things extremely well. However, students learn by more than hearing. They want to see how problems are solved, and they need practice solving problems themselves. These represent the three primary ways in which students (or anyone, you and me included) learn. Read on.