Student Caring - A Podcast for Professors
Join professors de Roulet and Pecoraro as they encourage professors to achieve success.
SC 58 #2. The Caring Professor - Book Preview

Only a little over 50% of American college students earn bachelors’ degrees in four years.  When students write essays or reports, or take exams our classes, anything under 60% constitutes failure.

Welcome to today’s world of higher education—an environment where more students than ever before, from just about every imaginable demographic, seek college degrees and often do not receive them.  Higher education continually invests more resources into admissions, co-curricular programs, retention studies, and graduation plans, but graduation rates remain unsatisfactory, students take longer to meet their degree requirements (so much so that colleges now budget for significant student attrition), and, for learners, the consequences of dropping out or stopping out have become disastrous.

Recently the State of Oregon invested a considerable effort to determine why graduation rates were so low in a particular population of students.  Researchers went into the project expecting to make recommendations on how institutions could spend additional money on programs that would address this problem.  But the answer wasn’t money in particular (although more investment in today’s schools is needed).  The study found that the most significant factor in keeping students in college and seeing them through to graduation is culturally sensitive care from professors.  Professors who know about, care about, and invest in their students’ learning often make the difference between success and failure.

[box] THIS IS A SPECIAL PREVIEW OF OUR BOOK: The Caring Professor: A Guide to Effective, Rewarding, and Rigorous Teaching. Publishing Worldwide on November 26, 2013 via Amazon and the iBook store.[/box]

Students look to professors as the people who will help most to pull them through the labyrinth of gaining a college degree.  When this connection with professors does not occur, students often feel disconnected from their educations, discouraged, and lost.  Despite whatever requirements a college or university communicates regarding research, publishing or performance, committee work, or the necessity of meetings, professors will spend the great majority of their time in the classroom, creating lesson plans and evaluating student work.  Professors primarily teach.  We also know that far too many full-time professors have not heard as much as they need about becoming excellent teachers.   A new professor might in fact enter the profession with a list of unanswered questions:

  • How do I successfully impart my knowledge to my students?
  • How do I make students enthusiastic about my courses?
  • Am I prepared to meet the range of my students’ educational needs?
  • How will my students, my colleagues, and administrators judge my efforts in the classroom?
  • How do I follow in the footsteps of professors that I respected?
  • How do I communicate to my students that I care about their welfare, and how do I keep from being taken advantage of by dishonest or panicked students?
  • How do I know my students are learning?

We're here to offer some help.

[box] Copyright ©2013 The Student Caring Project. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials on these pages are copyrighted by Dr. Daniel de Roulet and Prof. David Pecoraro, C0-Founders of The Student Caring Project. All rights reserved. No part of these pages, either text or image may be used for any purpose other than personal use. Therefore, reproduction, modification, storage in a retrieval system or retransmission, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical or otherwise, for reasons other than personal use, is strictly prohibited without prior written permission.[/box]

COMMENTARY

Daniel and David discuss this topic.

 

We recorded this podcast on Tuesday, October 15, 2013

 

Please share. 

We need your feedback so we may continue to fulfill our mission statement and help students, the world over.

Thank you!

book2_cc

The Caring Professor  |  Student Caring
Direct download: sc_58.mp3
Category:Higher Education -- posted at: 1:00pm PDT
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Congratulations:  You’ve Been Thrown into the PoolStudent Caring

Scenario 1:  The Water is Cold

A new professor walks into an Introduction to Sociology course.  He is greeted by thirty students not on the roster who want to enroll.  Several students on the roster are either absent or wander in at some point during the class.  Few students have the textbooks.  Many seem unengaged.  What the new professor had planned as a rousing talk on what sociology is all about and its importance to our world today devolves into an hour of roster adjustment, syllabus reading, and instructions on what students need to do in order to be prepared for the next class meeting.

[box] THIS IS A SPECIAL PREVIEW OF OUR BOOK: The Caring Professor: A Guide to Effective, Rewarding, and Rigorous Teaching. Publishing Worldwide on November 26, 2013. [/box]

The next class meeting seems to be going a little better.  Our new professor, after making further roster adjustments and handing out additional copies of the syllabus (or directing, again, students to the class web site to obtain documents and assignments), actually begins to lecture.  Students take notes.  The lecture is interrupted twice, however—once by a student who is enrolled but “couldn’t attend the first day” and another time by a small group of students who enter the classroom and wonder if any spaces are available.  Our professor presses on.  Then, about half way through his lecture, he asks questions and comes to the conclusion that most of the students did not complete the reading for today. He gives an impromptu quiz, finishes (part of) his lecture, and realizes that he is about a course meeting behind where he wants to be in imparting the course content.

During his next two lectures, he rushes through the material to catch up.  Students should be taking notes, but many are just listening; one or two are gazing out the window.  Some seem to be texting.  Attendance is not the best.  The scores on the quiz were miserable.  As he introduces the first essay assignment, he mentions (having heard the low down from his colleagues) that academic dishonesty is something to be taken very seriously, and that he will be on the lookout.  One or two students ask questions about small details that are clearly stated on the assignment sheet and the course syllabus.  He notices that a good number of students have not brought the book to class—can it be that some students still have not bought the book?  One student asks a question that seems to have an edge to it at the end of lecture; he does not know how to respond, given that he does not remember his professors answering such questions.

Not everyone turns in the first essay, and when he distributes the first exam—clearly stated on the syllabus’s course schedule—not everyone is present and some seem surprised that an exam is being given. At the end of class that day, a few students approach him and ask if they can still hand in the essay for full credit even though it will be late.  One student has apparently simply left a late essay on the podium.  In subsequent course meetings, student questions become more infrequent.  One day, five minutes into a lecture, a student raises his hand and asks if there will be a review session for the upcoming midterm.  Several students in the back of the class are talking quietly; others are texting.  At the end of another class, two students come up to appeal their essay grades.  Upon returning to his office, he receives an email that the department chair would like to meet with him regarding a student complaint.

What has happened, he thinks?  Who are these unprepared, indifferent, and sometimes even hostile students?  He has just been trying to teach the course material. Perhaps he needs to be tougher.

 [box] Copyright ©2013 The Student Caring Project. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials on these pages are copyrighted by Dr. Daniel de Roulet and Prof. David Pecoraro, C0-Founders of The Student Caring Project. All rights reserved. No part of these pages, either text or image may be used for any purpose other than personal use. Therefore, reproduction, modification, storage in a retrieval system or retransmission, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical or otherwise, for reasons other than personal use, is strictly prohibited without prior written permission.[/box]

COMMENTARY

Daniel and David discuss solutions to this scenario.

 

We recorded this podcast on Tuesday, October 15, 2013


 

Share. 

Our upcoming book:The Caring Professor: A Guide to Effective, Rewarding, and Rigorous Teaching, was written with feedback from many educators and students, which was our plan all along. We began by outlining our thoughts on a series of topics, then we recorded them to share with the world. From the feedback we received, we were informed about the needs of the student caring community. We need your feedback so we may continue to fulfill our mission statement and help students, the world over.

Thank you!

Daniel & David

 

The Caring Professor: A Guide to Effective, Rewarding, and Rigorous  Teaching

 

 

Direct download: sc_57.mp3
Category:Higher Education -- posted at: 3:00pm PDT
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Daniel and David interview Adjunct Professor, Dr. Melissa Knoll.

Melissa | Student Caring

Sound Bites from the Podcast:

The workload is huge!
I have a colleague who teaches 6 classes in one day.
I wasn’t quite prepared for the commute time, it can be grueling.
Q: What are the biggest challenges being an adjunct professor?
A: Not having an office. It would give me a sense of respectability and place.
I feel like a second class citizen.
I meet with students by a planter or a coffee cart area.
It can be challenging to keep up with current pedagogy.
I try to keep my quality of life pretty good.
If I have grading time, that’s what I do.
I spend an hour and a half grading every day - and that’s with only 75 students.
Am I going to prioritize my pedagogy or my time as a researcher? As an adjunct, you have to choose.
I get to watch one episode of T.V. and day.
Q:  What tips do you have for people working at multiple campuses?
A:  You have to figure out how to be organized.
I have a box the care for each campus.
Color coded folders are really useful.
Sticking to a plan.
I post my calendars online.
Being really regular in terms of grading has been a savior for me.
I remember I graded 2 sets of papers in one night and then taught a 9:45 am class and I thought, no one should live this way.
I always know what I am doing in each class at the beginning of each semester.
The night before I always get the reading done again.
We are seeing that being predictable is important helps to minimize student stress.
In the classroom, they always know what’s going to happen.
I am actually caring about how they are doing.
You feel like something that is used and thrown away at the end of the semester. Or paid to go away.
I feel very strongly that I was born to teach.
The most happy comfortable place for me is in front of a classroom.
If I don’t get a full time job, I will consider looking into other professions.
I feel like I am one of the best!
Every year that I don’t pick up a full time job, it’s lost income.
I love being a teacher.
I want a full time job.
I want an institution to commit to me and I want to commit myself.
In one place where I teach, I am not even given a library card.

We recorded this podcast on October 11, 2013

 Email for Dr. Melissa Knoll:  mgarcia.knoll@gmail.com

Why Your Opinion Matters: 

Our upcoming book:The Caring Professor: A Guide to Effective, Rewarding, and Rigorous Teaching, was written with feedback from many educators and students, which was our plan all along. We began by outlining our thoughts on a series of topics, then we recorded them to share with the world. From the feedback we received, we were informed about the needs of the student caring community. We need your feedback so we may continue to fulfill our mission statement and help students, the world over.

Thank you!

Daniel & David

 

Born_To_Teach

 

 

Direct download: sc_56.mp3
Category:Higher Education -- posted at: 2:36pm PDT
Comments[0]

SC 55 The Life of an Adjunct Professor

Adjunct Professor, Jason Witt  |  Student Caring

Daniel and David interview Adjunct Professor, Jason Witt.

Sound Bites from the Podcast:

I typically teach at three colleges a semester.

Each semester my load is usually about seven classes. I teach every single day and teach two night classes per week. I am in my 14th year of teaching this schedule.

Q: In a typical semester how many essays do you grade?
A: 1,000.

We have to grade whenever we have a scrap of time.

  • We are grading during office hours.
  • We are grading in between classes.
  • When we come home from work, we are grading.
  • On the weekends, you are grading, pretty much the entire weekend.

For the next four months, this is your life.

The rewards are that you are going to have 6 or 12 weeks and summers off.

What helps you to do your job?

  • You have to be an extremely good organizer. (I color code everything.)
  • You are going to have to prepare early for the week.
  • Organization is a big, big, thing.
  • Focus. I am one of those people who can put myself in 'grading mode' for hours.
  • I can sit on the couch, for hours and hours and just grade.

For me, I grade papers on hard copy instead of digitally. I am carrying these papers around with me wherever I go.

We have to take on more classes to make ends meet.

The best way for a student to communicate with me is in person. I am perfectly willing to meet with them, out on a bench or wherever.

Q: What are you like at the end of the semester?

A: After I have finished grading all of those papers, I sit and watch T.V. for one week because I don't want my brain to do any work. Here's the thing, after two or three weeks, I am ready to get back into the classroom.

There's something about this job... We all know it's certainly not the money.
Could things be better? Yes.

This is a challenging job, but there are ways of making it work.

There are changes that definitely need to be made.

  • There needs to be more money.
  • There needs to be more full time jobs.

I have to teach so much so I can make a living. It is a challenge.

Daniel:  One of the things we wanted to do is attach a voice to the adjunct professor. Thank you Jason.

 

We recorded this podcast on October 11, 2013

 Email for Prof. Jason Witt:  jwitt@ivc.edu

Why Your Opinion Matters: 

Our upcoming book:The Caring Professor: A Guide to Effective, Rewarding, and Rigorous Teaching, was written with feedback from many educators and students, which was our plan all along. We began by outlining our thoughts on a series of topics, then we recorded them to share with the world. From the feedback we received, we were informed about the needs of the student caring community. We need your feedback so we may continue to fulfill our mission statement and help students, the world over.

Thank you!

Daniel & David

 

The Life of an Adjunct Professor  |  Student Caring

"I teach 7 classes at 3 colleges and grade

1,000 essays  semester. I have been doing this

for the past 14 years." Prof. Jason Witt

 

Direct download: sc_55.mp3
Category:Higher Education -- posted at: 8:29pm PDT
Comments[0]

Listen.Taking Time to Listen.  |  Student Caring

Daniel and David discuss the importance of taking time to listen to our students.

Sound Bites from the Podcast:

We are really busy as we approach the middle of our semesters.

Thank you to everyone who responded to our last podcast: The Travails of Part Time Teachers. We have more information upcoming on this serious problem.

Practicing what I preach.

True confession time from Daniel.

The student just really wasn't interested in class at all.

I stopped class and called him on his behavior.

When we get busy, we tend to misinterpret our students behavior.

My student began classes at 7:00 am that morning and my class was at 4:00 pm. After my class he had to go to work.

We are television to our students and unfortunately the only thing on is PBS!

We sometimes forget about the people who are in front of this.

THREE PRINCIPLES OF STUDENT CARING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TERM

  1. Step back and take time to listen to your students.
  2. Be aware of your own warning signs, in terms of teaching.
  3. Don't be afraid in the middle of the term to interrupt your schedule and review what has been learned.

  

We recorded this podcast on October 1, 2013

Why Your Opinion Matters: 

Our upcoming book:The Caring Professor: A Guide to Effective, Rewarding, and Rigorous Teaching, was written with feedback from many educators and students, which was our plan all along. We began by outlining our thoughts on a series of topics, then we recorded them to share with the world. From the feedback we received, we were informed about the needs of the student caring community. We need your feedback so we may continue to fulfill our mission statement and help students, the world over.

Thank you!

Daniel & David

Direct download: sc_54.mp3
Category:Higher Education -- posted at: 5:00am PDT
Comments[0]

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