Preparing for an Academic Career Bookshelf

This page describes books recommended by leaders and alumni of the Preparing for an Academic Career in the Geosciences workshops, for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows planning careers in academia. While by no means an exhaustive list, these books come highly recommended. If there's something you'd like to recommend that's not listed here, please suggest a book for our bookshelf.

Tomorrow's Professor: Preparing for Academic Careers in Science and Engineering

The first thing to know about this book is that folks not in science and engineering also cite it as a highly valuable career planning resource. Great advice about things you can do now to compete effectively for, and be successful in, that next career step.
Reis, Richard M., 1997, Tomorrow's Professor: Preparing for Academic Careers in Science and Engineering, Wiley—IEEE Comp. Society Press, 440 pp.

The Academic Job Search Handbook

From identifying job openings to the challenges new faculty face in their first year of their new job, this handbook covers it all. In particular, the authors offer extensive advice on preparing application materials, interviewing, and negotiating job offers. They include examples of vitae, cover letters, teaching and research statements. They also discuss phone, conference, and campus interviews, and include a list of possible interview questions.
Vick, Julia Miller and Jennifer S. Furlong, 2008, The Academic Job Search Handbook (4th Edition), University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadephia, PA, 296 pp.

Ms. Mentor's New and Ever More Impeccable Advice for Women and Men in Academia

Hearing the call for a follow-up to the wildly successful Ms. Mentor's Impeccable Advice for Women in Academia, Ms. Mentor now broadens her counsel to include academics of the male variety. Ms. Mentor knows all about foraging for jobs, about graduate school stars and serfs, and about mentors and underminers, backbiters and whiners. She answers burning questions: Am I too old, too working class, too perfect, too blonde? When should I reproduce? When do I speak up, laugh, and spill the secrets I've gathered? Do I really have to erase my own blackboard? Does academic sex have to be reptilian?
Toth, Emily, 2008, Ms. Mentor's New and Ever More Impeccable Advice for Women and Men in Academia, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadephia, PA, 272 pp.

Ms. Mentor's Impeccable Advice for Women in Academia

In question-and-answer form, Ms. Mentor advises academic women about issues they daren't discuss openly, such as: How does one really clamber onto the tenure track when the job market is so nasty, brutish, and small? Is there such a thing as the perfectly marketable dissertation topic? How does a meek young woman become a tiger of an authority figure in the classroom-and get stupendous teaching evaluations? How does one cope with sexual harassment, grandiosity, and bizarre behavior from entrenched colleagues?
Toth, Emily, 1997, Ms. Mentor's Impeccable Advice for Women in Academia, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadephia, PA, 240 pp.

Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers

This book by Thomas Angelo and K. Patricia Cross provides a practical guide to help faculty develop a better understanding of the learning process in their own classrooms and assess the impact of their teaching upon it. The authors offer detailed how-to advice on classroom assessment - from what it is and how it works to how to plan, implement, and analyze assessment projects. Their approach is illustrated through numerous case studies. The book features fifty Classroom Assessment Techniques, each presented in a format that provides an estimate of the ease of use, a concise description, step-by-step procedures for adapting and administering the technique, practical advice on how to analyze the data and other useful information.
Angelo, Thomas A., and K. Patricia Cross, 1993, Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA, 448 pp.

Teaching What You Don't Know

From Natascha Chtena, a PhD student in Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles: "This book gave me a tremendous boost of confidence when I was TAing for a course whose subject matter I really didn't know that well (but was very passionate about). It helped me get my impostor syndrome under control and reassured me that not having all the answers is OK, really. Although not a teaching manual per se, it does include plenty of advice and strategies on how to "teach what you don't know": how to earn students' respect and look credible, how to prepare material, how to handle questions you don't know the answers to, and how to use your time efficiently. Having said that, Huston's book is illuminating even for those teaching within their expertise."
Huston, Therese, 2009, Teaching What You Don't Know, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 320 pp.

Reaching Students: What Research Says About Effective Instruction in Undergraduate Science and Engineering

The undergraduate years are a turning point in producing scientifically literate citizens and future scientists and engineers. Evidence from research about how students learn science and engineering shows that teaching strategies that motivate and engage students will improve their learning. So how do students best learn science and engineering? Are there ways of thinking that hinder or help their learning process? Which teaching strategies are most effective in developing their knowledge and skills? And how can practitioners apply these strategies to their own courses or suggest new approaches within their departments or institutions? Reaching Students strives to answer these questions. (Summary from the publisher's website.)

The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in the Classroom

Brookfield has led many workshops on the topics of teaching in the classroom and online. This book compiles years of insights and honest advice.
Brookfield, Stephen D., 2006; The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust and Responsiveness in the Classroom, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA, 320 pp.

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