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It’s the time of the semester when your teaching and your projects can feel pretty clogged. The mud outside is nothing compared to the mud in your mind.
In Inside Higher Ed, Rob Weir provides some useful tips on how to unstick yourself and your class in “Father Guido was Right” (http://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2014/02/28/essay-making-midcourse-changes-teaching-plans). After sharing Fr. Guido Sarducci’s money-making scheme of the five-minute university (if you don’t know who Fr. Guido Sarducci is, ask the more seasoned person next to you!), he provides several lessons on how to make mid-semester corrections:
- Assess the impact of your assigned readings
- Re-evaluate the use of “important” works
- Demystify theory
- Apply the materials
- Stop assuming about what people know and don’t know
- Listen to your students and what they need:
- “Don’t pity me”
- “Force me to think”
- “Let me make mistakes”
- Don’t underestimate the importance of your enthusiasm
- Do something—anything—differently
My list above is just a bare bones sketch of what actually is a very inspiring article. What I liked about it is that it can apply to many of the activities and challenges we have outside and beyond the classroom in our service, our projects, and our professional development. How could you apply this to other arenas of your life in addition to your classroom?
Don't forget, the ACA Teaching and Learning Institute would be an excellent place to discuss how to unclog your classes and your teaching. Go to http://www.acaweb.org/programs-services/faculty/tli/information/ to learn more!