5 Steps to Create a Purpose-Driven Teaching Philosophy Statement
April 08, 20190

What would you say about yourself if you were asked to explain your teaching philosophy as an educator? Do you have a guiding mission statement for your instructional practice?

You may be surprised with the number of educators who either do not have a teaching philosophy or cannot clearly and concisely articulate (without the use of clichés or generalizations about teaching) what their beliefs may be about learning and teaching. When I have been responsible for interviewing faculty for online teaching positions, many candidates I spoke with had not developed a clearly defined philosophy statement or never thought it was needed for their career. While it did not automatically disqualify them from a teaching position, it does not help them provide a true representation of what...

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Discover Why Positive Psychology Can Transform How You Teach
March 26, 20190

Do you see the best in your students now? Or will you be so focused on classroom management there is only time to get the job done each week? Do you teach online and see a group of anonymous students you may never really get to know? Or do you take the time to learn what you can, through discussions and feedback, to help students with their developmental needs?

Teaching students is not always a matter of showing up for class, disseminating information and instructions, facilitating class discussions, and providing feedback. It is more about the instructional approach you take and its effectiveness when utilized. This is especially true for online instructors who teach in a technologically enabled environment. Your classroom presence as the assigned instructor, or lack thereof,...

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Are You a Caring and Compassionate Educator?
March 13, 20190

Do you view the learning process as an opportunity to build connections with students through an attitude of empathy and caring about them, or do you see yourself as someone who dictates conditions and demands strict compliance with the rules and requirements of each class?

Teaching adults is more commonly called instruction or facilitation, and is often viewed as a specific function with associated requirements that depend upon the person’s status and classroom environment. Some people choose to teach adults as a career in a traditional university and others choose a non-traditional route, such as an online school or corporate classroom. But why does someone, or why would someone, decide to teach adults as a career choice?

I have found there are those who are good with...

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Feedback
February 12, 20190

Do you look forward to providing student feedback, or do you dread the thought of having to read through student papers? Do students engage with and respond to your feedback now? Would you like to be certain students are reading the feedback you take time to develop?

As an educator you may spend a significant amount of time developing feedback for your students, especially for their written assignments. The developmental progress of your students is strengthened when you provide meaningful feedback and they respond to it, either through their actions and improved performance or their follow up questions to you. How do you react when students don’t respond to your feedback? What if they continue to make the same mistakes and their performance does not improve? Do you assume that...

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4 Strategies to Show Students They All Deserve Your Time and Attention
January 08, 20190

When you think about your involvement with a group of students, do you plan to be involved with all of them, some of them, or just those who need your help? Do you devote most of your time to all students or just those who are struggling?

Teaching often takes a great deal of time and energy. When you are assigned a large class, the number of students and responsibilities vying for your attention increases and this can create a time crunch. If you teach courses in a traditional college classroom you know how much time it takes to develop lectures and grade papers or exams. Online instructors may not have to develop course materials; however, they usually have weekly discussions and feedback expectations that demand a significant investment of time. For example, one online school...

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Can You Tell When Your Students Are at Risk for Failure?
December 28, 20180

Do you have any students who are at risk for failure now? Is the performance of any of your students declining? How do you react when your students are not performing well in class?

If I were to ask you which students in your class were likely to fail, the easiest indicator would be grades as it offers evidence of students who are not making considerable progress. As most educators know, grades present only one aspect of the learning process and it is still possible that any student can be at risk for failure, even those students who are peak performers. While some students can excel, regardless of classroom conditions, most experience fluctuations in their performance throughout their academic journey. It takes someone who is actively engaged in their class and working with...

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Here's How to Help Students Who Will Not Help Themselves
October 28, 20180

Do you wait for students to ask questions or seek assistance when you notice they have missed assignments or they are not performing well with discussions or written assignments? Or are you proactive in your approach to instruction and actively reaching out to those students who need your assistance?

It may seem students should want the help of their instructors, especially when they are struggling with course topics, assignments, and meeting deadlines. But the reality is that this is not usually the case and as most educators know, students may even resist the very idea of asking for help and prefer to give up when faced with a challenge. This can occur even when an instructor has done everything possible to encourage students to speak up. For example, I observed many online...

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Online Teaching as a Career: Online Teaching Best Practices to Implment
September 15, 20180

Are you teaching online classes or plan to in the near future? Do you have a set of practices you follow to prepare yourself for teaching, to become highly effective?

Educators have discovered online teaching can be exciting, rewarding, frustrating, demanding, and challenging all at the same time. The opportunities for new online instructional positions are becoming fewer now because of the number of instructors who are interested in teaching and the process of acquiring an adjunct position has become very competitive. For example, it is not uncommon for someone who is highly experienced and educated to find it challenging to obtain new assignments.

What should you do while you wait for your first (or next) online teaching opportunity? The best answer is to become...

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What Does It Mean for Students to Look Up to You?
September 05, 20180

What are your goals as an educator, teacher, and mentor to your students? Do you have a clearly defined mission statement now, one which guides your day and the plans you establish for your week?

When you are actively involved in the classroom and working with your adult students, classroom management and what you need to teach are the order of the day. As the class progresses, you may consider the perspective of your students; along with what motivates them, how they persist when faced with challenges, and what it is like for them to interact with the classroom environment. But have you ever considered how your students view you as an educator? Does it matter to you or influence how you teach when you are planning your class or considering future professional development?

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Strategies and Resources Needed to Transform Online Teaching
July 18, 20180

Do you know what it will take to become a transformational online educator? Do you know what it takes to develop a strong virtual online presence?

Many educators who begin to teach online believe they can make the transition easily from teaching in a traditional college classroom to an online classroom. What they don't realize, if they don't seek out resources to help them learn how to teach in a virtual environment, is that they are putting themselves and their class at a disadvantage. The reason why is due to the significant difference between classroom teaching and online teaching. It isn't because the principles of adult learning have changed, or the needs of adult students have changed, rather it is due to the change in the format of learning.

Educators who have...

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