THE TRANSFORMED TEACHER – How to Make a Mountain into a Molehill

Mountain climber

Spring Fever
Spring has sprung. My spring fever for spring cleaning is in full swing. I have a strong urge to spruce up my class. Revisions – yes! Bring it on! I’ve learned oodles in Gateways-ND, and I’m itching to apply my new knowledge to help students, improve course outcomes, and inspire young people to become lifelong learners so they can expand their minds, achieve world peace, save the planet, and live long and prosper (triumphant fist pump)! I rub my hands together and stare at my files. Hmmm….I have LOTS of files…and documents…and assignments…and assessments…and……………………. Continue reading “THE TRANSFORMED TEACHER – How to Make a Mountain into a Molehill”

THE TRANSFORMED TEACHER – Self-growth in academia: support sandwich evolution!

Butterfly cocoons in multiple stages

Inspirational and aspirational models.
You’ve all seen them. You all know one. Uber-teachers. The ultimate guides-on-the-sides. The ones who’ve been gifted with the ability to effortlessly engage, enrapture, and educate their students. Without sweating (or swearing). Without the slightest twinge of unease. They know all about group work, and have group discussions down to an art. Their enthusiasm knows no bounds. They are a delight to behold and everybody loves them.

Is this the teaching ideal I should strive for?
Continue reading “THE TRANSFORMED TEACHER – Self-growth in academia: support sandwich evolution!”

THE TRANSFORMED TEACHER – 3 Nuggets of Wisdom for Dealing with End-of-Semester ‘Feedback’

Girl running in falling snow

It’s that time of year.
Joy! Peace! Goodwill! Laughter and cheer pervade even the gloomiest department. Smiles light the faces of students and teachers alike. No, it’s not the holiday spirit. It’s the transcendent relief that goes hand in hand with the end of the semester!

But in the midst of the merriment there is a slight current of unease…
What, you ask, could possibly sully this magical time?
Continue reading “THE TRANSFORMED TEACHER – 3 Nuggets of Wisdom for Dealing with End-of-Semester ‘Feedback’”

THE TRANSFORMED TEACHER – Stuck in the middle (of the semester) with me

woman looking down the middle of a road

Down in the doldrums.
Ugh. Here we are. The middle of the semester. SIGH. The crazed enthusiasm of a new beginning has worn away. The end of the semester is an eternity away. Getting enthused about learning, participating in discussions, even getting to class seems like a colossal effort. And that’s just us teachers!

It doesn’t help that Continue reading “THE TRANSFORMED TEACHER – Stuck in the middle (of the semester) with me”

THE TRANSFORMED TEACHER – Group work (pt. 1). Let’s get real.

large lecture hall class

Rah-rah, go team!
Glass half-full time! Working in groups (a.k.a. teamwork) is a good thing. It can build basic life skills that are needed in virtually every workplace (and for successfully co-existing on planet Earth). I found these stories about why teamwork is important positively magical. And peer learning is a key component of student-focused teaching strategies. Go teamwork, hooray!

But wait, what about the glass half-empty?
Continue reading “THE TRANSFORMED TEACHER – Group work (pt. 1). Let’s get real.”

THE TRANSFORMED TEACHER – Justifying just makes life easier

pen and notebook

The silent inquisition.
My 2-year-old is an inquisitive tyke. Why can’t I pick my nose? Why can’t I pick my sister’s nose? Why are you yelling at me for picking the dog’s nose? WHY, WHY, WHY? All. Day. Long.

At least he asks me for explanations. Apparently muteness, possibly with an aura of sullenness or the occasional withering glare, develops in the teen years.

Students in my class represent a strange hybrid of inquisitive toddlers and taciturn teens. When I introduce assignments or activities, Continue reading “THE TRANSFORMED TEACHER – Justifying just makes life easier”