Teaching Your First College Class
A Practical Guide for New Faculty and Graduate Student Instructors

Paper: 978 1 57922 226 0 / $24.95
Published: May 2008  

Publisher: Stylus Publishing
216 pp., 6" x 9"
No other teaching experience will feel quite like the first time an instructor walks into a classroom to face a class of students.

This book is a wise and friendly guide for new faculty and graduate student instructors who are about to teach for the first time.

It provides an introduction to the theory of teaching; describes proven strategies and activities for engaging students in their learning; and offers advice on classroom management, syllabus creation, grading, assessment, and discipline issues, among other topics. It prepares readers for a confident start as teachers, and gives them a firm foundation on which to develop their skills and personal classroom styles.

The author breaks teaching down into its component elements and tasks to enable graduate student instructors to identify their particular responsibilities, and learn about what works and does not. They will also benefit from reading the book as a whole as it sets their work in the context of course objectives and learning theory.

For new faculty this engaging book provides a solid basis from which to develop their skills and personal styles as teachers; and offers guidance on documenting their classroom success for the purposes of promotion and tenure. For graduate student instructors, the book is a companion that will give them confidence and pleasure in teaching, and stand them in good stead if they decide on a in any future career in academe.

Table of Contents:
1) BEGINNINGS: On Being a Novice College Teacher; The Bold Enterprise; Apprehensions and Trepidations; The “It” Factor—Help Students Understand What It Means to Be Educated; Types of Appointments; Finding Help for Your Teaching

2) TEACHING INTENTIONALLY: Success—Three Brief Tips; Pedagogy; Teacher-Centered to Student-Centered; Teachers in Their Many Roles; Critical Thinking; Some Major Figures in Pedagogy; Special Attention to Undergraduates; Making Use of Technology

3) THE FIRST DAY: A Tone that Signals Community; Authority in the Classroom; Facilities and Their Modifications; Your First Class—Instruction or Only Orientation; Dealing with Anxiety; Day One Arrives; Employing Active Learning from the Start; Messages to Students…Subtle and Bold; Diversity, Diversity, Diversity; Introducing Students to Your Discipline; The Great Start—Yours

4) CREATING A SYLLABUS: Syllabus or Course Guidelines—Which Works for You?; Your Course’s “Clock”; Constructing a Syllabus

5) PAUSING TO ASSESS AND REFRESH: Finding Out What Your Students Know—and Helping Them Change Their Minds; Classroom Assessments

6) STUDENTS—WHAT THEY EXPECT & WHAT YOU MIGHT EXPECT: Student Constituents—Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Religion, Class, Age, Students with Disabilities, Athletes, and Celebrities; Grade Inflation; The Notion of Students as Customers; Your Students’ Unasked Questions; Preparing Your Students for Learning—Mnemonics and Beyond; Mandatory Conferences; Learning Styles

7) PREPARATION FOR DISCUSSIONS: One Hundred Percent Participation; Creating Guidelines with Students; A Safe Environment; Learning Names—Everyone’s Task; Who Speaks and Who Doesn’t, and Who Talks Too Much; Difficult or ChallengingTopics: Taboos, Personal Values, and Hurt or Angry Feelings; Humor; Laughing at Others—Be Prepared; Preparing Content; Session Goals; Using PowerPoint

8) FACILITATING DISCUSSIONS: Texts, Problems, Evidence; Relying on Homework; What You Should Know About How Well Students Read; Using the Board; Video Clips and Films; Using Computer Displays and Overheads; Some Formats to Jump-Start Discussions; Time-Outs for Sluggish Sessions; Discussions Gone Wild; Dealing with Un(der)Prepared Classes

9) PLANNING ASSIGNMENTS: Your Opportunities for Creating Assignments; The Mechanics of Planning; Papers, Real or Cyber; Exercise vs. Display; Motivation; Repetition; Carrots and Sticks—Getting Students to Do Their Homework

10) WHEN STUDENTS WRITE—CONSIDERATIONS AND ASSIGNMENT IDEAS: Writing—The Emotional Side; Assignment Ideas; Term Papers and Their Alternatives

11) GROUP WORK AND PRESENTATIONS: Using Groups in Your Classes; Gender and Race in Small Groups; Long-Term Projects; Optimizing Group Activities; Pitfalls Group Projects; Helping Students Give Successful Presentations

12) FRAUD, CHEATING, PLAGIARISM, AND SOME ASSIGNMENTS THAT DISCOURAGE IT: Fraud in Higher Education; Cheating; Plagiarism and Assignments that Discourage It; Dealing with Students Who Cheat or Plagiarize

13) GRADING: Institutional Requirements; Two Mandates of Grading; Learning Outcomes; Rubrics; Test Construction; Improvement as a Factor; Non-native English Speakers and Others with Writing Problems; Weighting Grades; Gate-Keeping Knowledge; Extra Credit; Grading Attendance; Keeping Track of Participation; Assessing of Public Speaking; Grading Group Presentations; Efficient Grading; Making Use of Technology; Grade Complaints; Student Evaluations of You

14) MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR TEACHING TIME AND PLANNING FOR YOUR FUTURE: Teaching Portfolios; Papers and Poster Sessions, Awards, and More; Translating Teaching Experiences into a Career Other Than Teaching; Resume or Curriculum Vitae; Index.

Teachers - Request Exam Copy
Reviews & Endorsements:
"In addition to practical tips, the book offers a very basic introduction to the scholarship of teaching... Readers who want a practical resource without the distractions of first-person narrative will find exactly what they are looking for in this books. It will be particularly useful for those who are unfamiliar with the scholarship of teaching and interested in a comprehensive, practical guide to the mechanics and details of their craft."
- Teaching Theology & Religion
"Since most graduate programs don’t focus their curriculum on what it means to become a worthy teacher in their respective fields, Teaching Your First College Class will prove an indispensable tool to anyone embarking on the task, both graduate instructors and newly-appointed assistant professors. Lieberg dispenses some graceful wisdom on the art of teaching without being overly prescriptive or reducing classroom strategies to easy formulas. This book is dedicated to helping novice teachers cultivate their most authentic voice and creative spirit in the midst of planning for the first day of the first course of the first semester. Whether you are new to the classroom or a veteran who is mentoring first-time teachers, you will find that this book provides a sensible blend of pedagogical history (the origins of 'student-centered classrooms'), practical advice, and pointed anecdotes aimed at helping new teachers spend less time being fearful and more time becoming successful."
- Nancy K. Barry, Assistant to the Dean for Advising and Academic Support , Luther College