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hell i ain't no teacher.
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mushaboom


Mar 13, 2006, 11:49 PM

Post #1 of 11 (2657 views)
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hell i ain't no teacher. Can't Post

so. i'm accepted with a teaching fellowship. the problem? i haven't been in a general literature course in a looooong time, and it looks like i'll be at least partly responsible for choosing material and the general form of the class. anyone among the already-initiated care to offer some words of advice on how to go about preparing to teach a class like this for the first time?


poetastin


Mar 14, 2006, 2:02 AM

Post #2 of 11 (2618 views)
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Re: [mushaboom] hell i ain't no teacher. [In reply to] Can't Post

I worry about this, too...heading a class when I'm just still learning myself. Friends have told me to dress two shades older (or more professionally) than usual and to "fake it until you make it". For me this means a crease in my khakis and saying, Very interesting question...how do the rest of you feel about that? when someone asks something you don't know.


viviandarkbloom


Mar 14, 2006, 2:12 AM

Post #3 of 11 (2614 views)
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Re: [mushaboom] hell i ain't no teacher. [In reply to] Can't Post

First of congratulations. Second, I'm no teacher either, but I suggest bringing candy to every class and giving everyone A's. If you can't be a good teacher, then at least be their favorite teacher.


pongo
Buy this book!

e-mail user

Mar 14, 2006, 11:10 AM

Post #4 of 11 (2548 views)
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Re: [viviandarkbloom] hell i ain't no teacher. [In reply to] Can't Post

I started by sitting down with the textbook and looking at what wa in it. What did I already know? What did I feel like reading? What might I have something to say about in class?

After eight years of teaching, I still do about the same thing. I know in general what I want the students to get out of a class, and where I'm going to find it in the textbook. (It's easier if you get to choose the book, but you can always supplement the book with downloads, which also help teach the class about research.) I read each text before we go over it in class, and I mark up the book so I can find the bits I want to refer to. I also have an index card for everything I've ever taught, with the main ideas I want to hit in the discussion.

After that, I just wing it.

dmh


The Review Mirror, available at www.unsolicitedpress.com

Difficult Listening, Sundays from ten to noon (Central time), at http://www.radiofreenashville.org/.

http://home.comcast.net/~david.m.harris/site/


Windiciti



Mar 14, 2006, 11:19 AM

Post #5 of 11 (2534 views)
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Re: [pongo] hell i ain't no teacher. [In reply to] Can't Post

Exactly pongo!
Pick your favorites from the text, check out the exercises, questions activities...you can't do them all! So pick what you like...Then also once in a while bring handouts of poetry, essays, or short stories that have resonated with you...
Also pick out themes, and 2or 3 stories by diff. authors w/same theme.
iF YOU DON'T WANT TO DO ANY OF THAT...JUST FOLLOW THE TEXT!
After you've taught with the same text several times, even more than once, your sense of comfort will increase exponentially...you'll always have a plan, and you'll know what to do at each juncture.

Good luck. It's going to be ok. They are trying to please YOU!


pongo
Buy this book!

e-mail user

Mar 14, 2006, 11:52 AM

Post #6 of 11 (2518 views)
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Re: [Windiciti] hell i ain't no teacher. [In reply to] Can't Post

And if you're a guy, that attractive young woman in the front row with the very deep neckline is not, in fact, attrracted to your mind. She is attracted to your ability to give good grades. Do not touch.

dmh


The Review Mirror, available at www.unsolicitedpress.com

Difficult Listening, Sundays from ten to noon (Central time), at http://www.radiofreenashville.org/.

http://home.comcast.net/~david.m.harris/site/


franz

e-mail user

Mar 14, 2006, 12:35 PM

Post #7 of 11 (2483 views)
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Re: [mushaboom] hell i ain't no teacher. [In reply to] Can't Post

I just got some great advice from someone who is currently a student at JHU. He says that he and his classmates went into the program without any teaching experience. It was a learning curve, but his students were freshmen and he reminded himself that yes, he did know more about reading and writing than they did, and was, hopefully, a little bit wiser, at least in the eyes of the program. That's really what you have to bring to the table-- a little more experience than your younger students, and of course, a lot of extra preparation!!!


Franz Knupfer, author of short stories and novels


Windiciti



Mar 14, 2006, 12:41 PM

Post #8 of 11 (2477 views)
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Re: [pongo] hell i ain't no teacher. [In reply to] Can't Post

I am a gal myself, Pongo, but that's good advice for either sex.

Currently teaching an adult ESL class at a CC in my area. There is a delightful middle aged couple in my class. They speak French, Arabic, Armenian, well travelled, well educated folks. Want to invite me for dinner, etc. perhaps w/my husband (?) but I will not let anything interfere w/our professional relationship until the class is over, even though, obviously, sex not an issue here.

You gave solid advice, though, when you were writing in a serious vein.
It's a great relief for all those new TA's out there that it's not brain surgery.
REMEMBER YOU KNOW MORE THAN THE DO!
Eventually you will even LIKE some of your students, and look forward to seeing them and hearing what they have to say.
Set the rules early, though. And be consistent.


pongo
Buy this book!

e-mail user

Mar 14, 2006, 12:51 PM

Post #9 of 11 (2469 views)
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Re: [Windiciti] hell i ain't no teacher. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Currently teaching an adult ESL class at a CC in my area. There is a delightful middle aged couple in my class. They speak French, Arabic, Armenian, well travelled, well educated folks. Want to invite me for dinner, etc. perhaps w/my husband (?) but I will not let anything interfere w/our professional relationship until the class is over, even though, obviously, sex not an issue here.


Don't jump to any conclusions. But indeed, keep a professional distance from your students, at least while you're still figuring out what you're doing. You may feel like one of their peers, but you aren't: you can give them grades, and you must give them grades, and that means you have power over them. You don't have to be a tyrant, but you do have to remember that someone has put you in charge, no matter for what misguided reasons.

Later on you may want to treat your students as friends, but I recommend against it. You can be friendly with them, but you're still one of their teachers.

dmh


The Review Mirror, available at www.unsolicitedpress.com

Difficult Listening, Sundays from ten to noon (Central time), at http://www.radiofreenashville.org/.

http://home.comcast.net/~david.m.harris/site/


sibyline


Mar 14, 2006, 1:54 PM

Post #10 of 11 (2444 views)
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Re: [pongo] hell i ain't no teacher. [In reply to] Can't Post

authority comes with confidence. most of the time, as long as you can convey to students that you're in charge, everything else follows.


sanssoleil
Chris
e-mail user

Mar 14, 2006, 2:03 PM

Post #11 of 11 (2435 views)
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Re: [sibyline] hell i ain't no teacher. [In reply to] Can't Post

I worked as a Teaching Assistant the year after I graduated. Which was weird, because I wasn't a grad student, wasn't even in school, and I was barely 21, leading upper division sections wherein all of the students were older than I was. I just got slammed my first quarter. I was timid, intimidated...the students walked all over me. So the second quarter, I went in pretending I knew what I was doing...and once the students believed that I did in fact know my shit, then I started to believe it. And I am the shyest person in the world. I never once spoke in class as an undergrad. Not once. If I can do it, anyone can.

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