Teaching Tips

I finished the test: Now what?

Recently, I just completed my third half marathon.  I seem to have the habit of training really hard for the event at hand and then stopping until I have to start training from the beginning to get ready for the next race. For the first time in my running career, I’m wondering what to do instead of becoming a couch potato.  While discussing this with a friend, she suggested that I do some research.  I did, and I found that I should spend a few days after an event doing normal activity and work on maintaining my fitness.  As I was reading about this, I couldn’t help but wonder how this relates to my courses and teaching.  Do my students feel they’re running a half (or even full) marathon?  Am I helping them with a training plan or asking them to just run the race at the end?

While I was training, there were specific days of cross-training, running, and stretching, and this reminds me of my students.  How I am supporting their training (learning)?  How am I challenging them along the way to prepare them for the assignment, test, or paper?  What have I implemented in my course that allows them some time to rest and recoup or really stop and reflect on what they have learned?

The semester is coming to a close, so I know that every moment counts (see more on this here: Make it Count!). I plan to check in with my students for these last few days and see how they’re doing.  Are they understanding the objectives of the course?  Can they answer the question we’ve been working on all semester?  Do they feel they’ve improved as writers and readers? How are they contributing what they’ve learned in my class to their other coursework and to other aspects of their lives?

Also, what do they plan to do this summer to help them stay academically-minded instead of completely starting over when the next semester starts, like I’ve done for my previous half-marathons?   As cliché as it sounds, there is no time like the present.  Now that your students have come this far, what next?  Feel free to share your ideas below!

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