Feed on

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.

  1. Flip back through your teaching notes. What were your learning goals, and have you stuck to them? Have you consistently focused on your course themes? Did you get back around to topics you promised your students you would cover? (If you haven’t been writing exam questions throughout the semester, this exercise can also be a chance to get a start on writing that final.)

    While you are looking back through papers that you gathered this semester, review notes and handouts you have kept from Kaneb Center workshops you attended (or check out any of our previous workshop materials). Are there any teaching techniques you wanted to try out before the end of the semester?  Trying something new can be less intimidating in November or December when you already have a rapport with your students.

  2. Think about whether there are current events you could incorporate into your teaching. Tackling real-world issues at the end of the semester can help students to synthesize material from previous weeks in the course and reengage their enthusiasm in the subject material. As you spend time this weekend with family and friends, notice what issues relating to your discipline interest non-experts.
  3. Remember why you do what you do. The holidays can be a time for reminiscence; use those recollections to get in touch with your younger self. Which teachers–of all kinds, from college professors to little league coaches–meant the most to you? What did your best teachers do that made such an impact on you? Why did you become interested in your subject area?

    You might also take this time of thankfulness to write a thank you note or email to a mentor or former teacher. Use the opportunity to reflect on how their teaching affected you and identify any techniques or aspects of their teaching that seem authentic for you to incorporate into your own classroom.

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