A Few Tips

How to Teach Almost Three Quarters of the Department Course Offerings When You Only Have “Expertise” in One Quarter of those Courses:

  • Be creative and crafty in finding ways to connect the topic to your research and teaching interests
  • Be open to expanding your research interests
  • Be willing to learn with students, not just teach them
  • Read a lot, really quickly
  • Embrace the feeling of panic and uncertainty that you will feel the entire semester as you frantically try to stay (at least) a few steps ahead of your students in reading the material and understanding the concepts
  • Don’t try to be the Expert
  • Take a lot of deep breaths

How to Endure But Not Survive a Class That You Despise, One Approach:

  • Have someone* create a private webpage with a countdown, right down to the second, of time left in the miserable class
  • Have them include an animated gif of Homer Simpson repeatedly waving his middle fingers that you can look at as you prepare to walk across the bridge, enter the auditorium-sized class, stand at a podium, and speak into a microphone for 50 minutes to (mostly) apathetic students
  • Check the site after the final class and watch in surprised delight as the countdown clock explodes and transforms into a video, with shooting rainbows, of Cee Lo Green singing “Fuck You”
  • Laugh and celebrate
  • After you stop laughing realize that this class, and the larger trend towards “more butts in seats” destroyed your passion for University teaching
  • Stop teaching

*For me that someone was my awesome husband.

Continue Reading: Mutating Teaching Methods, Approaches and Assignments
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