Tuesday Teaching Talk Repeat Edition

Tuesday Teaching Talk is a regular feature which, as the name implies, is an opportunity to talk explicitly about teaching (and learning) in the practical and philosophical sense that happens on, you guessed it, Tuesday. It could be a question, an article or a tip to name a few options.

I’m really curious about this one.  First exams just wrapped up as we step closer to the midpoint of the semester.  Based on the performance on the exams, I may need to tweak.  This can be tricky.

There are few inevitabilities in life.  One of them is that we cannot stop time (barring experimental physics and science fiction-esque occurrences of course).  We are at the mercy of the clock.  Do you see where I’m going with this?

A quick search of “time management in college teaching” led to several results about teaching time management but only 1 on the first page about managing our time as teachers.  But even the resource described on that site was more about balancing curriculum and extracurricular demands.  I’d like us to look at this at more of a micro-level, the average class day.

In our teaching we have a potentially dangerous situations, experts in a field attempting to engage others in something that they love.  So…

how do you ensure that your plans for each class day (moving you to your semester goals ) actually come to fruition?  Do you follow your schedule (if you have one) religiously or do you allow for tangential moments that could set you behind?  How do you manage your class time?

I must say that when I think about my areas of improvement, this is number one semester after semester.  Interestingly enough, I find it difficult to imagine a reality in which I’m not struggling with the clock.  Perhaps this is the nature of the subject I teach.  Discuss.

One thought on “Tuesday Teaching Talk Repeat Edition

  1. Hey there mathissexy,
    Here’s my two cents on the matter:
    No, I don’t let the clock rule my class session. Sure I only have 80 minutes, but when necessary, our class discussions go off topic (or so I think). Do I worry that I will not cover all of the material for the day, or for the semester? Yes and no. For one, I will never be able to plan all 16 weeks of the semester. It is unfair to the students who I have yet to meet. On the other hand, there are course descriptions, outcomes and objectives that guide us (and legally bind us to do our jobs).
    With the digressions in class, I am surprised how the deviation from planned activities can supplement the curriculum. Many times I think the students are looking for that relevancy and when we provide these connections it enhances the course.
    Tangential moments are the best. It brings the class together and gives focus when incorporated accordingly. A knowledgeable and prepared instructor would probably prefer to go off on a tangent instead of playing it safe and “by the book” which could lead to a static, and dare I say, and boring semester; for students and instructor.

    Like you, I’d like to think what others have to say so I’ll leave it at that… for now.

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