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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Wearing two hats and thinking...

Since I am both a graduate student and a full-time faculty member, I have a privelege of observing classroom practices from both perspectives. Often, when I encounter situations that raise my blood pressure as a student, I look closely at my own behavior as a teacher. One of my pet peeves, I guess, is disorganization. As teachers, we usually know (I hope so!) what we expect from students. However, communication is a two-way interactive process; therefore, just knowing what you want does not help your students. Common sense, right? Alas, not for all instructors, it seems. This semester, two of my instructors are clueless about this basic requirement. If you tell students to write a paper, you have to provide general guidelines. Otherwise, you will get hit-and-miss results. No, I am not saying that we should spoonfeed students -- not at all. However, we should communicate our basic expectations. Brainstorming and creative thinking are awesome but teachers should provide the basic outline of what is expected.

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