Teaching Tips (Or, Things I Learned NOT to do from my graduate program)

I just finished my EdS (Specialist in Education) degree.

In this program I learned many things, although I'm not sure they were the things the professors intended for me to learn.

Here is a list of things I have learned NOT to do as a teacher:
  1. Give yourself too much self-importance.  
  2. Create vague rubrics whose points do not add up correctly.
  3. Refuse to allow students to work at their own pace and get "ahead" of where you want them to be.
  4. Give busywork.  It doesn't end after high school, y'all.  
  5. Not grade in a timely manner.  This is a very annoying habit that many teachers have.  As a student it is infuriating to be required to turn in assignments by a specific due date and then have to wait weeks to get your grade back.
  6. Not give feedback on assignments.  A grade with no feedback is worthless. (Unless the grade is a 100, then it's fine.)   If I don't get full credit, I want to know WHY.  Specifically.  Especially if there are similar assignments I will have to do in the future. 
  7. Be overly sarcastic.  Some sarcasm is fine.  Too much makes you come off like a jerk. 
  8. Demand that students listen to you.  Do not allow them to multi-task, doodle, etc.  Seriously?  If you don't want students to potentially do something else during a lecture, don't lecture. Instead, make your lessons interactive or interesting enough to actually ENGAGE your learner.  
  9. Stand over students.  Proximity control is one thing.  Hovering is quite another.  
  10. Force students to create useless powerpoints and present them to the class.  Seriously - no one cares.  Powerpoint has become the new worksheet.  
  11. Make glaring grammatical errors on your own PowerPoint lecture notes while at the same time deducting major points for students' grammatical errors. 
  12. Hold information as a means of control. This includes not telling when an assignment issue until the end of class. Be up front and honest. If you don't know (or haven't decided), then say so, but don't withhold information as a means to intimidate or manipulate your students.
Sometimes it's good to get the student's perspective.  


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