Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

The Art of Teaching

Teaching is an art form and it takes practice. Whether you are an experienced teacher or just starting out, take a look at our notes and illustrations on effective teaching techniques (see links to the left).

The excerpt below from the Managing a Course page provides you with a flavor of the style:

Be comfortable in your own skin

All professors have bad days in the classroom no matter how much they enjoy teaching. One of the secrets to success as a teacher is to know how to bounce back again in the next class. Students will forgive a lot that didn’t quite work if they believe the professor is trying hard to do something different. This is why early iterations of a course, when you are figuring out how to make it work, often run better than mature iterations of the same course, when you are getting tired of the textbook and bored with the lectures.

The trick to keep teaching fresh is incremental innovation; find out what your strengths are, teach to those, but always be on the look out for an assignment that’s unique to your way of teaching and that students couldn’t get from anyone else. Ask your colleagues about their favorite assignments: chances are they’ll be far from the conventional in-class exam or term paper and will be something you never even thought of. Being comfortable in your own skin as a teacher is about being ready to try something new, and see if it works for you.


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