Friday, September 5, 2014

Why you should teach a community college class

I just started teaching a College Success course at a community college - the same college where only 9 years ago I was crying in the advising office, wondering where my life was going to go. 

Here's how I feel about teaching so far:

!!!!!!!!!!!! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Makes sense, yes? I have no words. I know I've only just started, but I'm in love with everything about it already.

A picture I took while preparing for my first class
And like any new endeavor I pursue, I read tons of book about it, and I wanted to share them with you.

I originally planned on sharing them on another outlet since I thought, students won't really care about teaching books, right?

But then, I thought, you know what, I'm GOING to write this article here because I want you to start thinking NOW about teaching a community college course one day.

(In general to teach a community college course you have to have a master's degree and 18 graduate hours in the subject you'd like to teach.)

No matter what your future career, I want to challenge you to teach one community college course sometime in your career (many people adjunct one evening class along with a full time job). 

You certainly don't have to be a community college graduate to be an excellent community college instructor. But here's the thing, if you are a community college graduate, you do know exactly what your students are going through. You can share your success story. You can inspire them. 

And I hope you do. 

We don't graduate college successfully without the help and inspiration of so many. I want to encourage you to pay it forward. It doesn't have to be teaching of course, but I hope now at least you know it's an option.

And for any of the professionals or current faculty members who've stumbled upon this blog, below are the books that I have just LOVED when it comes to learning about what makes a truly great professor. 

1. What the Best College Teachers Do, by Ken Bain
The author did a study of the best college teachers around the country and shares, well, what they do! And by "best," he means the ones who really engage all their students in transformative learning experiences. 

2. On Course, by James Lang
This is an ideal book before you teach a college course for the first time. James has a great sense of humor so this is also a fun book to read. 

3. Happy Professor, by Erin Lovell Ebanks
 Erin and I recently became friends and both her book and her presence on the opposite side of a Panera table have pumped me up for teaching like nothing else. Erin IS a happy professor. She has made a full time job out of adjuncting at colleges in the area, and truly loves the opportunity to make a difference in students' lives.

Her book shares how she does it, as well as tips for how to get adjunct teaching positions and how to make the most of the opportunity (including some fascinating tips on how to not spend a lot of money). Erin also writes the Happy Professor blog. No one has inspired me like she has when it comes to finding joy in teaching. Go ahead, let her make you happy. :)

4. Student Engagement Techniques, by Elizabeth F. Barkley
To be honest I just started reading this one this morning, but I'm already in love with it. It's jam packed with actual activities and techniques to engage students in learning. 

If community college has made a difference in your life and you plan on getting a master's degree I do hope you'll seriously consider teaching a course one day. Just a warning though, you might fall in love with it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What do you think?