Welcome to the Learning, Teaching, and Innovative Technologies Center!

Located in the James E Walker Library, Room 348

Teaching Excellence Learning Modules

Things to Know About Enjoying Teaching

  1. Striving to become an outstanding teacher provides enjoyment in the classroom. There are two aspects that students state help to qualify teachers that they remember as outstanding. These include (1) the ability to present material clearly and (2) the quality of professor-student relationships.

  2. Another aspect of enjoying teaching involves having your students enjoy learning. Ways to do this include making students comfortable in the classroom, creating a welcoming environment, providing students with all the requirements at the beginning of the class so that there will be no confusion or arguments about assignments and grading, and finding ways to motivate your students.

  3. "Developing one's abilities to captivate a student audience for an hour or more, to stimulate them intellectually and move them emotionally, to instill in them a love for one's subject and a desire to learn more about it, to motivate them to work on their own, to watch them wrestle with philosophical and methodological dilemmas during discussion, and to see them mature in their wisdom, is highly satisfying"; (Lowman, p.226).

  4. "Five risks are typically faced by college teachers: burning out, getting fired, becoming crucified on the cross of imagined perfectibility, aspiring to a fruitless martyrdom, and falling victim to a cynical pessimism about the possibility of ever making a difference in the lives of students. If you don't regard your own survival as at least as important as the development of your students, then you will sooner or later fall victim to one of these risks. And if you do burn out, get fired, become crucified, sacrifice your position fruitlessly, or are consumed by pessimism about the limits on your influence, then you are no good to anyone, least of all to your students"; (Brookfield, p.4).

  5. Research has also shown that balancing personal and professional lives helps to reduce stress. Try to remember that your family needs you just as much as your students do and your students need you just as much as your family does. Balancing the two creates aspects that help in coping with stress. These include social support, physical activities, intellectual stimulation, entertainment, hobbies, and supportive attitudes.

  6. One of the most unpleasant consequences of our daily lives is stress. Learning to cope with stressors can help us to enjoy our lives, both personal and professional, more fully. Research has shown a three step process to effectively deal with life stressors. These steps include (1) identify the stressor, (2) apply an action to resolve the stressor, and (3) take the time to bring back a calm state before the next challenge arises.

Resources for building enjoyment in teaching:

Mastering the Techniques of Teaching. Joseph Lowman, 1988.

The Skillful Teacher. Stephen Brookfield, 1990.

Successful Beginnings for College Teaching. Angela McGlynn, 2001.

Coping with Faculty Stress. Walter Gmelch, 1993.