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21st Century Teaching

What does it take to be a college professor in the second decade of the 21st century?

In his article Conserving Energy Neil Baldwin suggests:

  1. Get a good night's sleep, and eat a hearty breakfast.
  2. I know it is tempting, but don't drink too much coffee, because you will get overhyped before class and risk crashing from that fake caffeine high.
  3. Pace yourself doing whatever you have to do (meetings, errands, paperwork) before class starts.
  4. Remain mindful of your finite energy reserves, and mediate your outflow during class time so you don't expend all your strength too early in the period.
  5. And at the end of your long day on campus, even when you are tired and strung out, the teaching body must be attended to. Make yourself head over to the gym for cardio and weight training, to keep your vital signs in decent working order. Commit to developing the imperative physical stamina required to capture - and hold - your students' attention.

General Tips About Effective Teaching

The 4 Properties of Powerful Teachers

Even if you weren’t born with some of these qualities, you can develop them. (Chronicle of Higher Education)

"[My] experiences have led me to conclude that, when we boil down all the metrics, we’re left with four qualities that all powerful teachers possess."


"Great teachers tend to be good-natured and approachable, as opposed to sour or foreboding; professional without being aloof; funny (even if they’re not stand-up comedians), perhaps because they don’t take themselves or their subject matter too seriously; demanding without being unkind; comfortable in their own skin (without being in love with the sound of their own voices); natural (they make teaching look easy even though we all know it isn’t); and tremendously creative, and always willing to entertain new ideas or try new things, sometimes even on the fly."


"Yet the best teachers, as Lang concluded, are always 'present' — fully in the moment, connecting with both their subject matter and their students."


"Knowing what you’re talking about can compensate for a number of other deficiencies, such as wearing mismatched socks, telling lame jokes, or not having an Instagram account. Preparation occurs on three levels: long-term, medium-term, and short-term."


"Passion, or love, manifests itself in the classroom in two ways: enjoying work with students and love for your subject matter."

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