Making the First Day Work

Teaching in a large classroom

Facilitated by Scot Douglass, Associate Professor and Director of the Engineering Honors Program

“Making the first day work” means much more than doing things that work and avoiding things that don’t. It also means crafting an experience that answers the question: what work do you want this first critical encounter to accomplish? In other words, what do you want to be happening on the last day of class and how can the first day contribute to that? How does it promote what you want to accomplish throughout the entire semester? What can and can’t be established the first day? How do you want your students to learn and how can you begin to model, entice and ask for this? What questions are students asking themselves about you in the first ten minutes they get to know you? What questions would you want them to be asking of you on day 1? How do you want those questions to change over the semester? How can the first day set class dynamics in motion in a direction that will foster that type of transformation.

This workshop will be both practical and philosophical. It will address the concrete particulars of what to do for these 50-75 minutes and why you want to do them. We will look at general goals that we all have and how the first day should be informed by the very particular goals you have for these particular students. Drawing on real examples from all the colleges, we will take into account class size (15, 35, 150, 450), class composition (majors, non-majors, core credit seekers, etc.) and class place in the curriculum (intro, advanced, elective, pre-req, etc.) Thinking through actual classes, participants will work on identifying what particular goals they have for their students, who they are as particular teachers and how all of this fits into crafting the first day of class.

Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012, 2:00-3:30 p.m.

This event will be held in ATLAS 100



Contact: Mary Ann Shea, Director, Faculty Teaching Excellence Program

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