(Guest) Tip 9: The Most Important Thing

I asked my friend John who is a tenured professor in Illinois what his best advice would be for a new college teacher. Being the overachiever that he is, he offered advice for tenure track and two pieces of advice for non-tenure track teachers.

For non-tenure track:

1. Keep learning. Stay involved with continuing education.

I love this advice and agree with it. I love it because I like to learn. I agree it because when I am not learning myself, I get burned out and don’t have anything to offer my students.

2. Use affiliated behavior.

This one I had to ask for an explanation of. As I understand it, it’s the things you can do to show that you are connected with or concerned about the students. Move around the room. Make eye contact. Smile. Look at people. Don’t stay behind the podium. Don’t cross your arms and lean away. Show through your body movements that you like and want to engage with the students.

For tenure track:

Keep religiously a set time for doing research.

My friend does not do this, but it has hurt him. He needs to keep up with his research. So, he recommends that you make it a priority and keep it one.

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