The one thing I absolutely love about my job as an instructor is the ability to share my experiences working in corporate America, starting an open source community for IBM, producing a podcast with 177 episodes, owning a successful software startup and being involved with social media since 2001. I have seen and experienced it all. The good, bad and ugly. Sharing these experiences resonates with students and colleagues.
Thank you to all of you who have been part of my journey.
When an assignment has been available for 2 weeks and you ask for an extension on the day it is due isn’t cool.
Today marks the beginning of my fourth year as a college instructor at Clark College. I’m amazed at how quickly the time flies by. Here are a few things that I have learned about teaching at a community college that I thought I would share with you:
- Seeing students graduate from your program and getting jobs is awesome.
- Office hours are a thing of the past. Virtual office hours are seven days a week.
- 10-30% of your students truly want to learn and the others simply go through the “motions” of school.
- Teach to the “middle” of the class.
- Teaching people who range in age from 13 to 75 is extremely rewarding and challenging; especially when they are all in the same class.
- Excuses are a constant.
- Classroom management is not as easy as people think it is.
- Developing the right mix of assignments, testing, labs and other assessments takes time to develop and constantly needs tweeking.
- I love what I am doing.
- I’m always learning new things.
I highly encourage anyone who is thinking about teaching at a college or university to do it. Your first couple of semesters will be rough but, once you realize the impact you make on students lives, you will embrace and love doing it.
I’m always available if you want to talk about becoming a college instructor or want to learn more about the web development program at Clark College.