Spring Semester Success Tips for College Professors

January 8, 2015

While elementary, middle and high school students are already back to school, college students and professors alike may still have some time before classes pick up again. But while students may be returning from their long awaited tropical vacation or heading out for a last minute weekend trip, college professors are more likely to be found putting together their class syllabus and sifting through textbooks to see which chapters are pertinent to their course objectives.

One thing that is important to note is that for college professors, returning to the classroom for the spring semester offers them the opportunity to start fresh. Unlike teachers who come back to the same classroom and students, college professors are presented with a blank slate on their first day back. And since they have another chance to make a good first impression, it’s important that they head into the classroom with the right teaching strategies and techniques up their sleeve.

If you’re a college professor getting ready to return to school, use the following tips to guide you towards a successful spring semester:

  1. Tutor with class of studentsExplain the course: Although part of your first class will be spent on introducing yourself and getting to know your students, the majority of the time should be spent explaining the course. When doing so, it’s also a good time to give students a preview of the content they’ll be working with. All too often professors assume that students know exactly what they’ll be learning about over the course of the semester, but the truth of the matter is that they need a solid introduction to the course and basic concepts on the first day.
  2. Make it interactive: Even though it’s your job to teach the class, students play an integral role in each lesson. That’s why on the first day, it’s important to get students talking and emphasize how classroom participation will be beneficial to their academic experience! From the start, be sure to make all of your lessons interactive and encourage conversation whenever possible.
  3. Establish connections: While yes, you are in a position of authority in the classroom, it’s important to establish professional relationships with your students in order to have a successful semester. When your students feel comfortable in the classroom and feel confident that you’re there to help them, it’s likely that participation and engagement will come naturally.

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