some relevant advice ...
I gave this advice to one of my former MS students
who became an Assistant Professor at a University in India.
I'm sure you will do fine. I think the main requirements for being a
teacher are to be smart, hard-working, good at communicating, and
fair-minded. I think you have all of those qualities in abundance.
Here are some of my general thoughts.
- If you don't care about them, they won't care what you say.
- Software engineering has a lot of subjective qualitative aspects. I
try to make it as quantitative as possible.
- Always return graded work promptly. The students will learn more.
- Students learn more if you give them more work (but it makes your
life harder too).
- When you take off points, always imagine a conversation where you
help the student understand why he lost the points. Then write down
the comment — they need to know their mistakes to learn.
- Keep organized and plan for the future. Spend 10 minutes after every
class making notes about what needs to be fixed in the lecture. That
will keep you from repeating mistakes, or spending 2 hours doing the
same thing a year later when you teach the course again.
- Grade hard and pursue cheating aggressively. The good students will
appreciate it and the weak ones will learn and be better for it.
- Edit your assignments carefully for typos and ambiguities. "Take"
your exams yourself before giving them to the students.
- Get to know your students a little bit. You can teach better if you
- Treat good and bad students with the same fairness. But you don't
have to treat them the same.
- Reward students who are trying hard, even if they're struggling. Some
students will eventually make a breakthrough and start learning
- Encourage smart students who aren't trying, but don't be easy on them
- When grading, be objective, objective, objective. Don't look at the
names. Grade each question on tests separately. Assign final grades
by the numbers and don't deviate unless you have very strong reasons.
- Most importantly: Have fun! It is impossible to be a good teacher
unless you enjoy teaching.
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