I’m putting the finishing touches on my syllabus and assignments for my History 511: Teaching World History course for the Spring semester. I wrote about this class back in October, when I was conceptualizing its organization. This is the one seminar in our curriculum dedicated specifically to teaching. Formally, I need to prepare the students to teach a survey class on world history, in this case the modern half of that survey. But, given that it is the one class these grad students will have in which pedagogical discussion takes a prime place, I want to include as much information as I can on the mechanics of college teaching. So, each week we will be touching some aspect of the process of teaching as well as content specific to a world survey.
I’d really like to hear, for those of you with experience in the college classroom, what you’d wished you’d learned before taking on your own courses. On any topic–> managing students, lecture pitfalls, course design, effective uses of technology, managing expectations, grading, assignments, etc. In the comments below, please share something that you wish you’d learned about teaching before you took to the classroom.