Research on Successful New Faculty

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Identifies three aspects for new-teacher success

Collegial support.

I experience a lot of collegial support. I regularly swap stories and ideas with the other new teachers, and I occasionally learn from the senior faculty. They don’t expect me to have to make all the mistakes again, and they share encouraging stories and advice.

Teaching support.

I believe that students must actively learn. Our Teacher Formation Institute (TFI) training emphasized the importance of student-centered learning, and that’s how I approached school as a student as well. I feel that my main task as a teacher is forming attitudes and skills, not just delivering content. My faculty evaluation last summer was above average. Out of 9 teachers, I was number 3, but there’s still a long way to go! =)

My students can handle challenging content – I just have to find ways to present it well. I like experimenting with alternative teaching styles, although I need to make sure that my class doesn’t suffer because of it. It looks like they’re learning and having fun, though.

Preparation Time vs. Research and Writing Time.

I spend more time preparing exercises than I do preparing lectures. I would rather guide students with questions and exercises than tell them answers. I feel that exercises have to be well-prepared. When I do lectures, however, I can do them with less preparation. I prefer board-work and program-writing over slides because I can adapt to the students more that way. Slides have to be prepared well in advance and the order is not flexible. I don’t know how to use slides to elicit and incorporate student feedback; maybe I should learn how to do that.

Other notes:

Seven Attributes of Successful New Faculty

superior investment in time spent on scholarly and grant writing;

Meep. I need to work on this more. Right now, I feel that the time I invest in preparing exercises is worth it especially as my research interests include computer science education. Other teachers use my exercises as well, and I want to put together a collection of lab exercises and project ideas.

Advice from the page:

Advice to New Faculty . The most obvious advice is for new faculty is to follow the model set by quick starters. Finding balance in time expenditure is critical. Boice suggests new faculty keep daily records of how they spend their time and decrease classroom preparation to a maximum of one and a half hours per classroom lecture hour. With regard to teaching, Boice directs new faculty to seek advice on how to interpret student ratings, and to improve teaching accordingly. Further, he suggests that new faculty attend to social networking, spend time on scholarly writing each day, and integrate research and scholarly writing interests into lectures.

I should keep track of my preparation and checking time, then. =)

(Oooh. I love social networking. =) )

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