Spring Break Is An Oxymoron

This week is Spring Break. Well, sort of. No, it is, but not necessarily for me. It’s break for some schools, some instructors, some kids, but not all of them. One of my colleges is, in fact, on break for the week. I teach two online classes and a face-to-face class there. In the face-to-face […]

If It Isn’t Broken, Don’t Fix It

One of the schools I teach for originally had a canned curriculum from which all instructors taught . The content was good overall and obviously written by professionals.  There were a few assignments that seemed to always cause confusion, but I quickly learned to just expand upon the directions in my weekly introductory post. The […]

The 13th Grade

This is a blog geared toward adjuncts, and though some of us may be lucky enough to garner courses in our specialty area, the truth is, we are the Sherpas of the academic world – and the bulk of our workload will be made up of Blank 101. If you are teaching introductory courses in your discipline, it is highly likely that you will also face a preponderance of freshmen, so I see this blog as dedicated to the newest of the new on both sides of the podium.

Email: The Love-Hate Relationship

I love email. I have been using it for over ten years and it has gone from an amusing novelty to one of the most important communication methods I use. While there are some people working in higher education who might say they are not technically inclined, almost everyone is comfortable using email. It has […]

Function Over Form, Really?

I was out walking with a friend last week and the conversation turned, as it often does, to school. She’d just finished her college-level writing class and was sharing her experiences. She loved her instructor and mostly wanted to express how grateful she was for the terrific job he had done. In his class, the […]

I Gave Him My Number. Will He Call?

by Jodi Menees I have a friend who teaches online at over 10 institutions and I was shocked when she told me that she does not give out her phone number and does not think online students need access to their instructors that way. I have never thought twice about giving out my phone number. […]

The Role of Market Correctives

Recently I dipped in to the January 11, 2010 edition of the world’s best magazine, I mean, The New Yorker. There I found “After the Blowup,” an essay by John Cassidy about how the various schools of laissez-faire economics are dealing with—or failing to deal with—recent economic crises. As author of How Markets Fail, Cassidy […]

Identity Crisis

A basic assumption is that students come to college already provided with the tools to learn, and our job is to communicate discipline-specific information. If you make this assumption the basis for your self-definition, and communicate it from the outset, you will save yourself a lot of grief.

Death & Dying: A Love Story

Last semester I walked into a class that I had been petitioning to teach since I began at this particular school. It is a class on the dark and brooding subject of death. When I first talked with the department chair about this class, and about how I would bring a completely different perspective to […]

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