Robert Boice, in his research on new faculty members, found that those who were most successful worked moderately on all aspects of their new careers (Boice, 2000) . He went further, investigating the day-to-day practices of these exemplary new faculty members, discovering their methods for getting work done, well, without overworking themselves. The resources below can help you to learn and implement these methods.
- Boice described the work habits of exemplary new faculty members in his book, Advice For New Faculty Members: Nihil Nimus. The subtitle is the Latin phrase meaning "everything in moderation." The book also includes exercises you can do to practice those work habits, until you internalize them.
Articles from Rick Reis' "Tomorrow's Professor" Mailing List
- Advice for New Faculty: Everything in Moderation is a set of excerpts from Boice's book, posted on Rick Reis' "Tomorrow's Professor" Mailing List. The excerpts describe how to work "moderately" at teaching and how to say "no" to unnecessary commitments.
- Mistaken Beliefs About Learning to Teach examines three beliefs about learning to teach that hinder the early efforts of new teachers.
- Asking Students to Help Each Other Understand Ideas or Concepts gives some good suggestions on how to make the case for collaborative learning to your students and your colleagues.
- Ten Reasons College Administrators Should Support Small Group Instruction looks at some strong arguments for supporting more small group instruction even in difficult budgetary times.
- Using Research to Bring Interactive Learning Strategies into General Education Mega-Courses looks at ways to improve the effectiveness of very large mega-classes sometimes averaging over 1,000 students. The examples sited come from introductory astronomy courses but clearly have implications for all very large classes.
- Driven to Distraction explores how to reduce student distractions in the classroom and tackle classroom management issues.
On preparing a new course:
- How to Prepare New Courses While Keeping Your Sanity describes a few simple strategies for preventing your new course preparation from taking over your life. Fortunately, they dovetail nicely with best practices in teaching. From Rick Reis' Tomorrow's Professor Mailing List.
On preparing for a class period:
- Class Preparation Time: How Much Is Enough? is another posting from Rick Reis' "Tomorrow's Professor" Mailing List. It explains how to prepare for class in about two hours, in small increments of time spread out over a few days.
- How to plan a class period walks you through the steps of planning a single class period, from setting learning goals to choosing teaching methods to finding (or creating) activities to meet your goals, using effective active learning methods. It includes a link to a lesson planning worksheet.
- What is the Most Difficult Step We Must Take to Become Great Teachers? is yet another posting from Rick Reis' "Tomorrow's Professor" Mailing List. It proposes that less is more; that is, that exemplary science teachers concentrate on teaching the process of doing science, rather than overwhelming their students with science content. When you give up trying to pack information into every second of class, you have less content to prepare.