The semester is gearing up and so is the new year, 2012! This is a time of renewal and change. Renewing the goals for my instructional delivery will require some change. Changes such as my schedule, office hours, and 150 new names to learn. Often, the names are the more most challenging aspects of of the many facets of teaching in college. It seems that the need for each person to be known and called upon by their given name makes a big difference. This is one way to communicate to students that I care about them as an individual. Of course, I am often surprised as how many students in my classes at the end of a semester still don’t know my name! So… guideline number one: Names matter so learn them.
Many people think that teaching college is a cushy job. I mean, how hard can it be since we use the same book and syllabus for years? If only this were true. Change is the operative word when it comes to working with young adults who have struggled for the majority of their life to learn. Change for them and me. Flexible people never get bent out of shape… Right? This being said… guideline number two: Be flexible! This means being flexible with my students, colleagues, and myself. The latter being the most challenging!
Game on! Learning names and being flexible this semester are going to get the game off to a good start.