Teaching and Emotions

Here’s a post from Faculty Focus that just touches the tip of the iceberg, The Emotions That Fuel Our Teaching. Maryellen Weimer asks a great question, “How do our feelings about the content, students, and our department affect our instructional decision-making?”

One study she cites concludes that instructors who are more focused on “transmitting knowledge” experience more anxiety and nervousness, while those who are more focused on “what the student is doing and experiencing” report feelings of pride and motivation. That makes sense.

But there’s so much more complexity to be explored. What patterns can we identify in our own emotional experiences and teaching (dis)satisfactions from year to year? What might be productive about uncomfortable feelings in the classroom — for us or for our students? What can we learn from apparent disconnects, like the class that seemed disgruntled but gave good evaluations, or the class that seemed satisfied but complained on evaluations?

Wouldn’t this make an interesting Faculty Center Fellowship or SoTL project for an upcoming year? (hint, hint)




Fresh ideas for annual review/PDP goals

As we head into Annual Review writing season, how about some ideas for setting new teaching goals? I’m going to start a list, and I hope others will add to it in Comments:

  • Partner with a colleague to create a new First Year or International Learning Community
  • Conduct a new textbook search, including open-access materials, for a frequently taught class
  • Invite a colleague to conduct a mid-term instructional diagnosis (evaluation) with one of my classes
  • Study my student evaluations over a multi-year period and make an action plan to respond to suggestions
  • Plan to attend five faculty development events (workshops, forums, webinars) on topics of special interest
  • Apply for a Faculty Writing Fellowship
  • Apply for an Interdisciplinary Initiatives Grant
  • Apply for a Faculty Center Fellowship
  • Reflect on my toughest teaching challenge and conceive a SoTL research project/experiment to address it
  • Implement Team Based Learning
  • Restructure an existing traditional or fully online class as a hybrid
  • Apply for a summer study abroad program, either through CSU or USG programs
  • “Flip” just one assignment/section of the course
  • Consider how I might allow students to exercise some choice/control in their learning experience