The temporary return of Tuesday Teaching Talk

I figured that it would be apropos to throw in a final Tuesday Teaching Talk as I exit as CAST coordinator (Also, I was having trouble looking at the standings in the football pool given mathissexy’s disappointing performance).  A few years ago, CAST was tasked with the responsibility of maintaining this regular Tuesday post.  Due to lacking popularity, and really everything else we were doing, we let it slip away.  Here’s one last one for nostalgia’s sake.  Also, if you’re around this afternoon (2ish in 1046), you can meet your new coordinators and have some cookies and pears, while discussing the following.

  • How do you stay sane while grading the last exams?  Do you have final assignments in your classes?  Do they happen this week or did they occur previously?  Do you provide students feedback on them, despite their somewhat summative nature?
  • Do you have a special way of ending your courses?  What was one success this semester?  What was on struggle?
  • What (if anything) do you plan to tweak/change for the spring semester?

I’d love to hear from some of you as you procrastinate in grading your exams, projects, portfolios and papers.  After all, according to some anonymous source(s), we faculty can be lazy.  See you later.  It’s been fun.

6 thoughts on “The temporary return of Tuesday Teaching Talk

  1. First, I was hit with a bit of nostalgia when I saw this post.
    Second, I wanted to give you a posting this week and thank you for all of your service to the faculty body and for your consistent TTT postings in their heyday. I hope they return in some way under the leadership of our two co-CAST coordinators.
    Third, I’ll give you a reply to honor your commitment to making CAST what it is today.
    Thanks a whole bunch for E’RYTHING you have done. Does this mean you’ll work your way up the standings in the football pool? It’s not mathematically impossible… yet. (Besides, I took a nose dive on my picks this week! Darn Bears. Darn Packers. Darn upsets. Darn. Darn. Darn!)

    Here are my answers to this week’s TTT:

    Staying sane? IMHO, just take it nice and slow. I pace myself as best I can. I’ll stay up late one night and go to bed early the next knowing that a big push on my part will still be necessary as we get closer to the end of the week. I’ll also ‘reward’ myself with a quick trip to Netflix and take a breather watching a quick TV episode. Then, it’s back to grading.

    Way of ending a course? Success? Struggle? I guess I hadn’t thought of how I end my courses, but I do try to let my students know there is direct practical application of their acquired knowledge. No major successes this semester and no major struggles, but I’m already looking forward to using the break to reflect on and revise my pedagogy.

    What do I plan to tweak or change? I’ll be thinking about how to use social media to communicate with students. They use fb, twitter, texting more than Bb.
    IMHO, it looks like we need to break down the barriers between stuffy academic technology and hip-happenin’ social media. I may open up a bit of my private life to students. I say this because a couple of students wanted to know if they could ‘friend’ me on fb. Could it be that they just want to know I am human? Will they open up more to me in class if we are fb friends? If so, will it improve our in-class relationship and make them more successful?
    Lots to think about. Faculty may go on semester break, but it doesn’t mean we take a break from education.

    Thanks again CASTman for this opportunity to share. Big hugs, high-fives, and knuckles to you for bringing CAST to The Lounge. I’ve enjoyed every posting. May you have a successful end to your semester. Enjoy time with family between the break.


  2. Thank you for being a steady voice in reply of the TTT’s over the years. As for FB, I’ve had a few friend requests and have denied them, but nicely. I share plenty with my students in person. I figure that they don’t need to see everything. Plus, I cannot censor what my other FB friends may say.

    • Not gonna let you get away that easy, CASTman! Here’s my reply to your reply:

      When you, or any other faculty member, state that you share plenty with your students, what does that mean? Like I stated, they just want to know us as real people and not some sage on the stage. Sometimes a mini-chat on the way out of the classroom about some non-class related topic sheds an incredible amount of light on one student. Is it possible that we could have these mini-chats on fb?
      As for not being able to censor what other fb friends say, the same could be said of other students in the class when you have discussions, right. Analogous ain’t it?
      It can’t be held against you if a fb friend says something stoopid, right? And wouldn’t a fb friend writing some crude remarks followed by a polite reply, or no reply for that matter, from you, speak volumes about you as a person? This is what I mean about students seeing our human side.
      Are we trying to build or retain an invisible barrier of power and control, or are we truly protecting our privacy? If it’s the latter, then what are we doing on fb to begin with?
      Just wonderin’. Nothin’ personal, but you already knew that.
      Gonna miss this, my fb friend!

      • I agree that FB could be a force for good with students, but given my dangerous past, I’m merely trying to protect my students…Just kidding, but my friends do occasional engage in some interesting conversations that I think cross the line of professional discourse. It’s akin to running into a student at a bar for me. It gives a different picture of me to my students that may not be entirely accurate. In fact, I ran into a former student after a Cubs game this summer at the bar outside of the stadium at which he was a bouncer. Even though the student was in my class over 5 years ago, I still felt uneasy. But, I do remember as a college student wishing that I could see my professors out and about and have a drink with them. So I don’t know. I think that we all have lines and boundaries that we create. They may change, but I suppose that that comes with time. A last point has to do with favoritism. Do you (this goes out to everyone) have favorite students? Would friending a student on FB or even talking to him/her outside of class give the impression of favoritism to other students? Is that a door even worth opening? Is there a statute of limitations with respect to becoming friends with students? This isn’t K-12. Students are our age, perhaps with similar life experiences. As for power and control, I make myself plenty vulnerable daily. My students get a pretty good glimpse into me, which I like. After all, I am human, despite walk my FB friends may say (my college friends refer to me as a robot but perhaps that’s getting a bit too personal with the lounge crowd). Good night.

  3. I miss TTT. It was one of my favorite regular postings at HL. It may not have garnered many responses, but I always enjoyed reading it. Just because there is no clear response, it doesn’t mean TTT wasn’t effective at stirring our minds.

    • Quite true, Kamran. My mind was stirred. (There’s a James Bond joke here. Somewhere.)

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