• 6x16

    Find the Joy in Teaching…

    An interesting trend I’ve noticed with young people lately is that they have begun to look at finding a job the way young girls look at finding a mate. Like a Disney movie where the princess always finds her man and lives happily ever after, young adults today seem to think that if they can only find the perfect career, they will be happy forever. They will never work a day in their life, as the saying goes. However, those of us who are (just a little bit!) older and (maybe!) a little more mature, realize that, even if we absolutely love what we do, we can lose the fire…

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  • 6x16,  Teaching

    Classroom Management/Community Building

      It never failed. Every year at the end of the school year when we opened up our report cards to see what teacher we would have the next year, the name on my report card was without fail the teacher no one wanted. They were mean or strict or tough. And I would begin every year with fear and trepidation…and end up loving those teachers wholeheartedly. I have been privileged throughout my life with amazing teachers. Not only were they innovative in teaching, but they recognized their students as individuals, challenging us to, not only do our best, but to BE our best. In 4th grade, I had Mrs.…

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  • 6x16

    What I wish I knew about Planning & Organization…

    Since I often teach seminars on planning and organization to women in business, my mind wants to veer to time blocking and creating a schedule in response to the prompt this week. For many people, both scheduling and lesson planning create headaches. However, having a plan can help us to weather the storms that will eventually try to wreak havoc in our classrooms, just as having a schedule can help us to accomplish our life goals. One semester, I showed up to the first day of a one-day-a-week evening class to find two students. TWO! Turns out, course numbers were scrambled and a course that only had two students was…

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  • 6x16

    My first day of teaching…

    My first day in the classroom was in Spring of 1999. At the ripe old age of 22, I thought I was ready for that first day with my leather briefcase (that I still have tucked into the back of my closet) and my new ‘grown-up’ hairdo. While that briefcase got a lot of use, it certainly was not enough to prepare me for being in front of a class of college students…most of whom were my age or older. In fact, my first few years of teaching, I got used to the snickers and the “are you serious?” and “no way!” comments that began when I opened the door…

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  • 6x16

    Do you conference?

    One of my favorite perks of teaching on campus is the ability to do student conferences. (Yes, I know you can do student conferences via zoom, which is very useful, but not as fun!) After every paper this semester, I have students come in to see me for about 5-10 minutes. We check their grades, talk about what’s going on in their lives, and I give them candy. 😉 I thought in this last post of this 6×16 session, I’d give you a few of the benefits of one on one student conferencing: Increase student success–often students aren’t aware of what they are missing–or they are too scared to ask…

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  • 6x16

    Reflections on Unfiltered Student Feedback on an Online Course

    Last year, I sent two of my online courses through the Quality Matters process. Both my ENG 101 and my ENG 102 courses are now officially Quality Matters certified, and my ENG 101 is serving as the shell for our new English adjuncts. The point, as most of you know, of QM is to ensure that students are getting the best possible course–a course that well-designed and in which the learning activities clearly address the learning outcomes. Even with all of the time and effort it took to create QM certified courses, I still look at them each semester and find things I can do to make them better.  As…

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  • 6x16

    Have you used Canva?

    I’ve had several people comment on images/flyers that I’ve created this semester. It always makes me smile because I know how very easy it was to create them! For those of us who don’t have a knack for graphic design, Canva.com offers a fantastic short-cut to well-crafted images and documents. Whether you are wanting to update the look of your online courses or create a flyer advertising your spring classes, Canva.com is a fantastic (and, mostly, free) resource. Just create a free account with Canva, and you, too, can make beautiful flyers like this one (shameless plug for Beth’s amazing Women in Lit course) : women in lit I also…

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  • 6x16

    The Power of “My Why”

    At the Summer Institute last May, the keynote speakers talked about helping students to connect with their ‘why’ as a tool to foster student success. I will never forget an illustration of the power of the ‘why’ I heard at an event years ago. Imagine that you are at the top of a 100 story highrise. A 2×4 board is balanced between the top of the building you are standing on and the building 100 feet away. All around you, a blizzard is raging. It’s windy, and snowing so hard you can hardly see. The board is covered with snow and ice. Would you cross that slippery bridge for $1,000?…

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  • 6x16

    To Notebowl, or Not to Notebowl…

    I started using Notebowl in my composition classes over the summer in the hopes that it would increase student engagement in discussions. Here we are, at almost the mid-way point in the fall semester, and the jury is still out. Notebowl definitely has some great features, but there are also some significant drawbacks to the user experience. Notebowl promises a better discussion experience for students–one that will increase engagement by looking more like the social media platforms that students are used to. I’m not so sure that Notebowl is significantly better in this regard. Here’s a look at a Notebowl discussion vs a Canvas discussion: Visually, the two discussions are…

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  • 6x16

    An Experiment with Badgr

    Last summer, I implemented a new component into all of my courses–Badgr. My goal is to incentivize behaviors that I know will increase my students’ ability to succeed in my course, in their academic careers, and in their futures. I started by making a list of activities that I know increase student success. As I made my list, I included activities that would engage students in the culture of YC, as well as those that are simply habits of successful people. So, students will find options from goal-setting to joining a YC club. Then, I created simple assignments to go along with each activity–take a selfie at a YC event…

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