Wednesday, June 04, 2014

The Teaching Professor Conference 2014 Notes & Takeaways from Boston

I Just attended My First Teaching Conference.  Here are my Exhaustive Notes.

 The Teaching Professor Conference 2014 

 Boston, MA : May 30-Jun 1

The Main Plenary Speakers:

Presenter: Stephen D. Brookfield, Ph.D., John Ireland Endowed Chair, University of St. Thomas
Main Takeaway: Teachers deal with "Imposter Syndrome" which is the fear and inner feeling of standing in front of the class waiting to be "found out" by a student or visitor as a phony without the answers.  His comparison of teachers to whitewater rafting instructors was also outstanding
Presenter: Ken Alford, Ph.D., associate professor, Brigham Young University

Main Takaway: His session was packed with practical advice for teaching, syllabus and the classroom with his West Point leadership flare.  It discussed what it looks like to stick to focus on your primary objective, managing the syllabus & honoring the 10-12 minute attention span.  A memorable opening point was connecting with the new students by leaving class the first day by having past students come in who struggled with the class but came around share their stories to get the anxious others on bored and build trust. "If I can do it, you can do it too" mentality.

Presenter: Maryellen Weimer has edited The Teaching Professor newsletter since 1987

Main Takeaway: We must realize the importance of practicing and preparing our questions before class because "where the rights answers can become outdated the right questions remain timeless."


Teaching Websites To Checkout:

· send Texts to whole classes anonymously and for free.
·      Beloit’s Mindset lists for each years of incoming first year class
o   The Mindset of the 2017 Class
·      Polling Students
o   SMS Poll- (15/poll=free)
o   Polleverywhere  (40/poll=free)
o (10questions/100reponses=survey)
·      Jing &
o   Jing: 
§  Allows you to easily edit, grade, and then send back a picture assignment with your voice and computer actions video
§  Complex Online discussion platform with students and faculty?

 Educational Concepts I Should Know As A Beginning Teacher

o   Cornell’sNotes: Splitting note's page into 3 sections for easy review and studying
o   Think/Pair/Share- ponder the teacher's question, then pair up with neighbor and share
o   Kolb’s Model (-Experiential Learning Model-ELM) & Learning Style Inventory(LSI)  
o   Note 10-12 minute student attention span or 8-15minute-ish depending on source
o   BMI (NAIT)- Becoming a Master Instructor Course

Interesting Chart On Challenge

o    “Challenge is the sweet spot between anxiety and boredom” (See Chart Below) As a professor you must gauge how to pour the appropriate amount in the bucket based off what they are bringing ie. bucket, cup, cardboard.  It’s your job to know how much to pour


o   Studies show New Teachers take 8 hours prep for 1 hour of class
o   Decide on your quitting time! (After 8 hours productivity goes down statistically with a lucky additional 2-3+ if done right.)  

 Burnout Seminar Stats

§  3 levels of Burnout
·      Emotional exhaustion (depletion of resources)
·      Depersonalization (at interpersonal level- sense of detachment from consumers)
·      Sense of Ineffectiveness (Sense of Inadequacy/incompetence)
§  Whose More Likely to Burnout?
·      Age (Old or Young?)- Young
·      Gender (Men or Women?)- Men=Depersonalization; Women=Emotional Exhaustion
·      Family Life (Married or Single)- Single
·      Education Level- Higher
·      Personality Type- Type A; External Locus
·      Coping Style- Passive/Avoidant
·      More or Less Caring?-  Less Caring (“I care too much” statement is really poor emotional boundaries instead of how much we care)
§  Burnout in Academia
o   High… On par w/ human service industry

Videos Shown

Teacher Norms: (themes I heard the "crowd" relate to)

1.   Imposter syndrome- waiting to be found out like you're an imposter standing in front of the class at any moment by a students or other person…
2.     Why is this job so hard to balance?
 “It’s the pressures outside the classroom rather than in was a consistent response.”
Teaching is a Unique job- Triple-threat job description like (sing/dance/act) but it's
1.     Teach 2.   Research  3.     Management
3.     Feeling one of the 3 levels of burnout tendencies from Emotional Exhaustion, Depersonalization, & to a Sense of Ineffectiveness.
4.   Your profession/full-time work year being underappreciated/undervalued/undermined inside and out for the unseen hard work and extras it requires.
5.     Self-care Principles will always be sought after in demanding professions

Random Teaching Tips

·      To walk around room or not during group projects?
o   1 Good suggestion was to say: "I’m not going to visit around to groups but call me over if you have any questions or need clarification.” 
·     Asking, “Any Comments or Questions?” versus just asking “Any questions?” may leave more of an open door for feedback.
·      Use Timer or Countdown Clocks on Screen for Class Group Work to note time limits.

Interactive Class Ideas

o    “Take a minute and write down”  before discussing the topic.  
o   If class is dead faced- pull student up and say, “See, this is what I have to look at!” :)
o   Just give a 5 minute break if your losing them
o   Brain Break/Gear Shift/Break Ideas
§  Random Video
§  Turn and compliment the people next to you
§  Dilbert &/or other Cartoons?
§  Stand & Say, "Hi" or "Good morning" maybe even in a British accent
§  Show an Emotions chart and ask "How are you feeling coming to class today?"

Syllabus Preparation Notes:

·      Design great courses by asking the Big questions- Why bother?  Why Should They Care?
·      What’s Primary & then Supplementary… (constantly thin out supplementary)
·      Clarity often includes Good AND Bad examples... "This is what NOT to do"
·      In Alberta, Canada, you HAVE to have your daily primary objective of the day on the board.  Should we do the same?

Syllabus Checklist Questions

o   Did I Pace the assignments? 
o   Do I have nothing big due at the end but 3/4 of the way through instead? 
o   Do I have a chance to give firm consequences early in the course? 
o   Am I providing Fun early in the course?

Lesson Prep

o   What is the Primary objective of today's lesson?
o   So what? Who cares? Why or Whose question is this answering?
o   Am I teaching in 10-12 minute increments?
o   Am I teaching to multiple learning styles with active engagement?
o   Did I prepare intentional questions in teaching prep before class?

End of Class Feedback Ideas

·      Write down Two Gold Nuggets From This Class
·      Kolb’s Notes Model Summary Section at The End of Class
·      Rate The Accomplishing Day’s Objective-
o   5- Blew my mind
o   3- Neutral
o   1- Waste of my time and money
·      Critical Incident Questionnaire
o   Most engaged moment
o   Most distanced moment
o   Most helpful action
o   Most puzzling action
o   What surprised you most
·      Other Question Options
o   “One thing that made this class real valuable was...”
o   How are you different?  How are you changed from this course?
o   Pace of today’s class? Fast/medium/slow
o   Difficulty of Lecture? Good easy/ good hard/ good expert

Boston Water Walk

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