I’ve decided to start a new short post series here to focus on teaching tips every Tuesday. I mentor quite a few graduate student teachers, and their brilliant questions always make me realize I’ve amassed a good number of teaching tips over the past decade. These tips are based on my experience teaching in higher ed, but I imagine many of them would work well for K-12 as well.
This week’s Tuesday Teaching Tip is inspired by the end of the spring semester which is rapidly approaching for most of us. While we might look at the mound of final projects with an eye to getting through the evaluating as fast and painlessly as possible, this is actually the perfect time to slow down and think about your future teaching and researcher self. My tip for doing this is twofold:
1) As final projects start rolling in, remember to save the ones you might want to reference later as examples for other students or for your own pedagogy research. I am embarrassed to say how long it took me to start doing this on a regular basis. I would remember certain awesome projects but not which student made them or in what semester they were made. Save yourself the headache and download them now before the current term is off your plate. Obvious caveat: you should always ask the student’s permission to share their work and aquire IRB approval if necessary.
2) Also while you’re evaluating final projects, take notes! I never got into the habit of taking notes after lectures to ostensibly plan them better next time (not kocking it, but I feel like there are too many variables for this to be effective sometimes). However, I do take notes while evaluating projects because it becomes extremely clear from the student work what needs tweaking in your assignment or scaffolding. In some cases a student’s interpretation of a given assignment inspires a whole new assignment design in the next class. Let your students’ assignments teach you about the quality of your design.
Do you have any end of term teaching rituals? Leave a comment below with your own end of term teaching tips!
Stay tuned for (hopefully) more posts this year about teaching, composition, digital literacy, and academia. Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @litambitions