3 Pointers for New College Professors

by Rob Sutter

Upon entering your classroom for the first time, a number of emotions may be running through you. There's this mixture of excitement, uncertainty, and intrigue that cannot be overlooked, whether you're teaching others about the construction of outdoor kitchens in architectural school, development of websites in web design, or another subject entirely. Newcomers may see teaching as challenging, especially in college, which means that a bit of help can go a long way.

What are some of the ways in which new college professors can make the most out of their jobs? For those who have gone to school in order to become instructors, which is a noble endeavor in its own right, here are 3 of the best pointers to consider.

Recognize that mistakes are normal. No matter how confident you are in your ability to teach, it's normal to make mistakes. You might stumble over your words, especially in the presence of a large classroom, or maybe you'll drop papers more often than you would in a different scenario. There's plenty of weight in topics associated with art schools, meaning that it's easy to stumble now and then. However, you should know that these mistakes will become less prevalent over the course of time. Confidence will build, and the likelihood of making simple errors will decrease. The sooner you recognize this, the more effective you'll be in teaching.

Always dress for the job. One of the easiest ways to gain respect, especially amongst students, is to dress appropriately for any teaching job. Business casual is usually the best option, as this typically entails a button-down shirt or blouse, along with a pair of slacks or long skirt. It's much more difficult to take an instructor seriously if - and this is more of an extreme example - he or she walks into the classroom wearing a t-shirt and denim shorts. After all, people have this perception of what a professional should look like, in the classroom or otherwise. As a result, it would be wise for you to dress for this particular job.

Know that you're in control. It's very easy for new professors to feel like they're losing control of their class. They may be talked to by students who feel like they know better, which can be something of an issue. Not only does this show a lack of professionalism, on the part of the student, but a newcomer to teaching may feel intimidated in this particular scenario. With that said, though, you have to tell yourself that the classroom is yours to take charge of. You are the one who possesses a teaching degree, meaning that you have authority over those who're giving information to. When you feel like control is slipping from your grasp, always go back to this detail to bring confidence back in you.

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