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With this semester quickly nearing its end, the Thanksgiving weekend offers a moment to reflect:  How have your classes been going lately?  Whatever your answer, you still have time to make some changes to end the semester on a high note. Flip back through your teaching notes. What were your learning goals, and have you […]

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Giving Directed Feedback

The biggest grading mistake I made as a first time TA was to give the kind and amount of feedback that I, as a graduate student, wished I would have been receiving from my professors. I spent hours grading student work, sometimes handwriting twenty thorough comments on a single short essay, only to watch in […]

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This post suggests that the classroom should be considered as a model that students can use to achieve social justice in the world. This is a particularly urgent topic for those teaching at Notre Dame, since socially infused pedagogy is an integral part of its mission statement, which defines social justice in its promise “to […]

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The number of students with disabilities attending post secondary education in the United States has been steadily increasing. As a faculty member and as a TA you might need to know a few things about accommodating students with disabilities in a collegiate classroom. The following guidelines and suggestions have been adapted from George Washington University, […]

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Presenting from Slides in Class

In this post, I’m going to offer three very specific tips that I use to maximize the use of this technology in my teaching. First: I think of my slides as a way of visually organizing my knowledge, and structuring the content I want to present. In addition to serving as a visual aid for […]

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Using Fall Break to Full Effect

Using Fall Break for Reflection Congratulations, you are now halfway through the semester and you deserve much needed rest. However, this is also the perfect time to reflect on your teaching and make some adjustments for the future since the first half of the semester is still fresh in your mind. Make a list of […]

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Keeping Students Motivated

As we approach the middle of the semester, energy levels in the classroom may begin to flag. With students eagerly anticipating the reprieve of Fall Break, maintaining their motivation is more important than ever to ensure you and your students make the next week of classes count. Motivation is a complex phenomenon that varies from […]

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It’s your first day of leading a classroom discussion as an ITA and you are anxious about facing a classroom full of American students.  Agonizing questions start to bombard your mind. Will they understand my accent? Will I be able to meet their expectations? What if my English isn’t good enough? What if I don’t […]

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There are many ways in which in-class instructional time can seem overwhelming, especially to first time teachers. During my first TA experience I remember opening up a word document with the intention of writing up an agenda for the first week’s discussion. I kept staring at the document like it was a vast open prairie, […]

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Preparing for Class

Designing a semester long course is challenging enough in itself, but deciding how much time to spend preparing for each class presents a particular problem for graduate students and new teachers still managing other academic responsibilities. Keeping certain guidelines in mind can help manage that precious time while also preparing the teacher to be maximally […]

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