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									Preface

A commitment to teaching excellence is a hallmark of Nazareth College that spans its
entire 75-year history. Such excellence is evident both in how faculty approach their
responsibilities in the classroom as teachers and in what students take away with them.
The Center for Teaching Excellence at Nazareth College works within a framework of
this tradition, while adding new resources and ideas to them. This handbook is meant to
be one of those resources. Its purpose is to provide you with information that I hope will
make your transition to Nazareth as successful and easy as possible. The original version
of this handbook was written by three ―recently new‖ members, at the time, of the
Nazareth teaching community (Thaddeus Camp, Erin Kelly and Carl Wiens). My hope in
commissioning it was to produce a working draft of sorts that would change from year to
year as each cohort of new faculty added their insights and voices.

Happily, new faculty have indeed found the handbook useful—especially when used in
tandem with other important resources such as their department chair, mentor, and CTE
new faculty discussion—and have noted that it had helped guide their transition to the
Nazareth community. And not surprisingly, they have also wanted to make changes.
Little did I realize, however, that one of the ―new iterations‖ would involve converting
the text to a Wiki (which was deftly accomplished by Kimberly McGann). While the
concept of a Wiki was a good one, the experiment did not, for a variety of reasons, work
out quite as expected.

Thus, what you have before you is a first attempt to reintegrate the best of the print
version of the New Faculty Handbook with the best of its Wiki offspring while adding a
few much loved bits and pieces of other CTE documents.

I hope you find it useful.

Diane M. Enerson
Director, Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE)
Professor of Psychology
Nazareth College

June 2009




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         A SHORT FAQ: A FEW VERY PRACTICAL PRELIMINARIES

Discovering the quirks of a new culture can be challenging and sometimes frustrating.
What follows are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions that faculty
have as they begin to think about teaching at Nazareth College.

How do I find out where my classes meet?

You can find the building and the rooms where you will be teaching on your schedule
posted on NazNet. NazNet is the online location for course schedules, locations, and
rosters. It is also where midterm and final grades are entered. NazNet is one of the
"quick links" (the dropdown menu on the far left side of the page) from the Nazareth
homepage.

You will need a log in and password to access the faculty section of NazNet, which will
include the more sensitive details for the classes you will be teaching. However, you can
search for sections and see your class schedule, location, and size without logging in as a
faculty member.

 Once you do have your password, to log in to NazNet for the first time follow these
instructions:

1. Go to the NazNet home page.

2. Click on "I'm new to Naznet" (this is in small print on the bottom right corner of the
page)

3. Click the "OK" button on the "New to NazNet" page that comes up.

4. Follow the instructions online.

(Note: your username will be the same as your email username (without the @naz.edu).
This also means you can't access the faculty section of NazNet until you have your email
account set up. This should be done automatically after you fill out your new hire
paperwork at HR.)

For help with NazNet contact ITS (x2111)

Once you have determined where your classes will meet, it is a good idea to check the
classrooms where you will be teaching before the beginning of the semester. Also be sure
to check the day before classes start, occasionally room assignments change at the last
minute.

If you aren't sure where your building is, check out the campus map on the Nazareth
homepage.


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To be safe, it's a good idea to count chairs and desks, or tables before classes begin to
ensure that your class fits in the room. If you are in need of any of these items, contact
Facilities (x2340)to request more, or change your classroom by contacting the Registrar‘s
Office (x2804). It is assumed that you will not move furniture into your classroom from
another, as this will surely cause a problem for groups using that classroom later in the
day. However, if you find that you must, please remember to have your students return
any purloined chair(s) to the rooms from whence they came.

If you'll need a TV/VCR/DVD or projector for a classroom that doesn't have one, contact
Media Services to make arrangements to have one.

Room changes are permissible and requests to do so are handled by the Registrar. There‘s
a diversity of configurations in classrooms available, so think about what would be most
suitable for your classes. Your faculty mentor and your chair can advise you about which
rooms would be appropriate. Please note that suggesting an alternate classroom rather
than receiving a random assignment usually leads to a change that better meets your
needs.

Finally, Nazareth classrooms are not routinely equipped with either white board markers
or chalk in them permanently (there is usually a supply of erasers however.) It is assumed
that faculty will bring these with them to each class. You can get these supplies through
your department secretary or at Office Services.

What kind of technology do classrooms have?

Besides the standard chalkboard and/or whiteboards, some classrooms are equipped with
some of the latest teaching technology, including:

      computers with internet access
      multi-verse projectors and screens
      DVD and VHS tape players
      CD and cassette players
      overhead projectors
      ELMO document readers
      zip and flash drives

Any other technology needs, such as video cameras, are available through Media
Services and must be reserved in advance. It is recommended that you test any of these
devices with the materials you plan to use before attempting to use them in a class.
Chances are if you discover your problem during class, it will not be resolved by IT until
the next time you teach. Always have a Plan B!

There are also several computer labs on campus that can be reserved for your class using
LabReserve. It is a good idea to schedule as far ahead of time as possible as some classes




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have time periods reserved for the entire semester and this may make it necessary for you
to adjust your schedule/class plans.

What are the standard meeting times for classes?

Below is a list of the standard meeting times for daytime undergraduate classes. Please
note that some departments offer evening classes. Check with your department chair,
mentor, or department secretary to find out what time slots are typical.

 MW 8:00 am – 9:20 am

 MWF 8:30 am – 9:20 am
 MWF 9:30 am – 10:20 am

 MWF 10:30 am – 11:20 am
 MWF 11:30 am – 12:20 pm
 MWF 12:30 pm – 1:20 pm

 MWF 1:30 pm – 2:20 pm
 MW 2:30 pm – 3:45 pm

 TTH 8:00 am – 9:15 am
 TTH 9:25 am – 10:40 am

 TTH 10:50 am – 12:05 pm
 TTH 1:10 pm – 2:25 pm

 TTH 2:35- 3:50 pm


Graduate classes meet after 4pm. Check with your department for specific days and
times.

What kind of computer labs are available?

There are several computer labs on campus, most of which have between 15-20
computers. For the location of the labs available on campus, their software, and hours,
click here.

Requests for computer labs for an entire semester are managed through the Registrar's
office. All other requests are done through LabReserve. To reserve a lab, click here. (For
a tutorial on how to use the LabReserve system, click here.) After you make a reservation
you will receive an email confirmation for your records via email.



                                          Page 4
There is also a very nice computer lab in the library which can be used in conjunction
with library instruction.

Note that you will need your Nazareth ID to gain entry to the labs!

How do I request a change in my room assignment?

To request a room change or specific room assignment (such as reserving a computer lab
for the entire semester) for undergraduate classes, email Lisa Ferrin (lferrin9@naz.edu)
(x2804) in the Registrar's office.

For graduate courses, Graduate Studies handles room assignments & changes. Contact
Alison Teeter (ateeter7@naz.edu) (x2818) in the Graduate Studies.

In your email or phone message, be sure to include your name, your current classroom
assignment if you have one, and your request for a change.


                 GETTING SETTLED IN AND READY TO TEACH

YOUR OFFICE

You‘ll likely be meeting with your students and advisees in your office. It will come with
a compliment of standard issue official office furniture, which most faculty supplement to
create a more comfortable space to meet with students. Your department secretary, chair,
or mentor may be able to help you find surplus furniture. You can officially obtain
additional furniture or replacement furniture by contacting Facilities (x2340) and filling
out requisition forms.

Your control over the arrangement of your office is similar to that of any office or rental
apartment. You can superficially arrange it as you like but more substantial alterations –
drilling holes, repainting, or pulling up carpet – should be done through the official
channels.

Aside from your own furniture and decorations, Facilities maintains the walls, carpets,
non-computer electrical, and windows. Information Technology Services (ITS) (x2111)
maintains your computer and other college owned technology. ITS will also install and
maintain your system software. Below is an entire section on teaching resources and
supplies. To start, your department secretary will probably provide you with some basic
office supplies and Office Services (x2070) can provide you with everything else.

Troubleshooting
If your office has a serious physical problem, such as a lack of heat, a leaky ceiling, or an
insect infestation, contact Facilities. Also, inform your chair and department secretary of
the problem so that they can follow up if action is not taken promptly.




                                            Page 5
Whether you meet with students in your office or in another space on campus, you should
give them the sense that you are in public. It is unwise to meet with a student with your
office door closed. If your conversation requires more privacy, be sure to ask the student
if it is okay to close the office door before doing so. You want to ensure that he or she
does not feel trapped. If a student becomes angry or upset with you, it is always best to
have another faculty or staff member nearby to intervene or serve as a witness, if
necessary. Thus, open doors, adjoining offices, and populated meeting places are always
recommended for ethical meetings with students.

YOUR SYLLABUS

For most classes at Nazareth College, you have quite a bit of freedom regarding the
composition of your syllabus. However, all syllabi must contain the basic information
listed below. Additionally, individual schools and colleges may have their own standards
that exceed the minimum for the College as a whole. Check with your department chair
about what is expected in the courses you will be teaching. If you like working with a
model, most departments keep syllabi for all their classes on file. Ask your department
chair or secretary to help you find past syllabi for the course you will be teaching. You
may also want to ask your new faculty mentor for advice about departmental expectations
for your syllabi. Below, however, is a list of the elements that must be in your syllabus,
as well as suggestions for other sections you may want to include.

Required Elements for a Syllabus
Basic course information: Your syllabus should include the name of the course, course
number and section number, days and times when the class meets, as well as a basic
description of the class.

Your contact information: Your name, office location, office phone, e-mail address, and
any other information you think students need. Some faculty like to include their home
phone number, but this is not required.

Office hours: A clear indication of when and how you will hold office hours.

Official statement regarding students with disabilities: The College has an official
statement that must appear in your syllabus. You can add to the official statement, but
minimally the following information should be included:

       Special needs: Students who need any accommodations in accordance
       with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and/or Section 504 of
       the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 should discuss this matter with the course
       instructor during office hours or by appointment.

Briefly, the only way students are able to receive official accommodations at Nazareth
College is by registering with the Office for Students with Disabilities and providing
official documentation of their disability. Once their document has been processed,
students receive a letter of accommodation that they must present to you. In the absence



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of that process and a letter from the Office for Students with Disabilities specifying the
accommodations, no accommodations may be provided for the student. For legal reasons,
you are strongly encouraged to stay within the bounds of this policy and procedure.

The Director of the Office for Students with Disabilities is Stephanie D. Smyth (office:
Smyth G327, phone: 389-2498, e-mail: ssmyth6@naz.edu). The Handbook for Students
with Disabilities is available as a PDF file at:
http://www.naz.edu/dept/students_disabilities/.

Official Statement regarding Academic Dishonesty: As you are well aware, academic
dishonesty (i.e., plagiarism, passing off others‘ work as your own, copying another‘s
examination, etc.) is a problem on all college and university campuses. To address this
problem and to be clear on how academic dishonesty is defined and is treated at this
institution, Nazareth College developed and printed an Academic Policies & Procedures
Handbook for Undergraduate Students, Pages 6-7. At a minimum, you should include a
reference to this policy in your syllabus accompanied by a brief description of penalties
you will enforce.

Statement regarding your attendance policy: For the sake of clarity and enforcement,
include what you expect from the students regarding their attendance in your course, any
penalties for lack of attendance, as well as what constitutes an excused versus an
unexcused absence. Students tend to assume if they are absent they can submit course
work due when they next return to class. If that is not the case, make sure that your
syllabus contains a statement to this effect.

Learning Objectives: Beginning this year, deans and department chairs will be working
to ensure that all syllabi contain a list of 3-5 learning objectives for the course. That is,
you shall include a brief statement of what students will learn as a result of the course.
Specifics of how these will need to be written may vary by department and school. If in
doubt, check with your department chair.

Recommended elements for a syllabus
Below are a number of sections many faculty include in their syllabi. You might think
that some of these sections are excessive, but realize that a syllabus is increasingly
viewed as a quasi-contractual document. Policies or procedures not clearly stated and
defined in your syllabus could be unenforceable if a student challenges his or her grade.
Grade inflation is ubiquitous in higher education and in the earlier grades. Many students
come to college expecting high grades for completion of assignments. The syllabus is an
excellent place to notify students that grades are earned, not given.

       • A list of major assignments with descriptions.
       • Grading criteria for formal and informal assignments.
       • A statement about what material examinations will cover.
       • The date and time for the final examination.
       • A grade breakdown that outlines how final grades will be determined.
       • A list of required textbooks with a brief description of each.



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       • A list of required course materials with a brief description of each.
       • A late assignment policy.
       • A daily schedule of each class‘s readings, homework assignments, and/or
       activities.
       • A list of deadlines for major assignments.
       • A statement that the syllabus is subject to change with an explanation of how
       students will be notified of changes.
       • Rewrite or resubmission policies.
       • Conference policy – whether they are mandatory or not.
       • A detailed explanation of what you consider academic dishonesty and a
       declaration of how you will handle cases.

This list is not comprehensive, nor should it be seen as a replacement for advice from
colleagues in your specific discipline. If you would like feedback on your syllabus,
consultation is also available through the Center for Teaching Excellence.

Faculty distribute syllabi a number of ways, including physical paper copies,
Blackboard, or through a personal teaching website.

YOUR STUDENTS

Many of the students who attend Nazareth College are from New York State and the
Greater Rochester Area. A good number have spent their high school years taking
Regents Examinations in their major academic classes. Some have taken Advanced
Placement (AP) classes and the AP examinations. Successful completion of these AP
courses and examinations frequently allow students to receive college credits for their
high school work. You should be aware that students with such academic experiences
have often been well-trained for in-class, timed-writing examinations, especially for
writing narrative essays in response to a directive prompt. However, they might not have
had much experience with other types of writing.

Meeting with Students: Office Hours
The college requires you to hold one hour of designated office hours for every class you
teach. For example, if you are teaching four classes each semester, you should schedule
four office hours for every week of the semester. Faculty members have different ways of
meeting this requirement, including:

       • Scheduling office hours as one long block of time on one day of the week,
       making longer meetings possible.
       • Distributing office hours over a few days of the week in an attempt to
       accommodate different student schedules.
       • Scheduling at least one hour during the ―free period‖ on Tuesdays and
       Thursdays (12:10-1:10). Be aware that many faculty events and meetings are
       scheduled during the free period, so you might have to cancel or reschedule this
       office hour on occasion throughout the semester.




                                          Page 8
       • Waiting until the first week of classes to set office hours and asking students
       when they have free time in their schedules.
       • Adjusting office hours throughout the semester. For example, an instructor could
       offer a few extra hours in the week preceding a major assignment.
       • Having all office hours available for walk-in meetings.
       • Having all office hours by appointment only.
       • Some faculty make more hours available but require students to make an
       appointment.

Meetings: Outside Office Hours
There will be occasions when you need to meet with a student outside of your office
hours. It is easiest if you determine early in the year at what times and under what
circumstances you are willing to make appointments with students. Frequently, busy
students have free time in the evening and tend to forget you may be trying to keep
regular hours and have responsibilities outside of work. Consider adding a sentence or
two in your syllabus on how students should set up appointments with you as well as a
policy for missed appointments.

Suggested Limitations on Meetings
Nazareth College‘s culture tends toward the conservative when it comes to
student/faculty interaction. It is generally unwise to meet with individual students off
campus. All interactions with students are official. While rare, some departments arrange
parties for all of their majors at a faculty member‘s home. You might take a group of
your students to a public event by meeting them there. Freshman seminar classes
regularly take trips off campus, often to restaurants and museums. The faculty fund can
even support having students come to your home for pizza or pumpkin carving. Before
inviting students to such an event, however, be sure to avoid even the appearance of
impropriety. If you decide to invite students to your home, they should arrive and leave in
a group. It is recommended that you do not serve alcohol even to those who are of legal
drinking age. You might not even want to consume alcohol when your students are
present. You should never make alcohol available to underage students.

General Tips for Student Meetings
If you need to schedule appointments for a number of students or for an entire class, use a
sign-up sheet with appointment slots or post an appointment sheet on your office door.
For individual appointments, you might instruct students to send you an e-mail request or
to talk to you before or after class.

You should not have to make a special trip to campus to meet with one person. Doing so
can be perilous to your outside life and students tend to forget that you don‘t live on
campus, even though evidence may be scant that you do not. Try to schedule
appointments at times that are convenient for you, such as right before or after your
regular office hours or right before or after class.

A student who misses multiple appointments without contacting you, and with no excuse,
might need to be told that you can only meet with him or her during office hours. Some



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faculty have a policy that states missing a scheduled appointment is the same as missing a
class and will be counted as such in relation to the class attendance policy.

Setting Limits
Faculty at Nazareth College take pride in their small-school approachability, but this
accessibility can be misread by students. As a result, you‘ll probably have to set some
clear boundaries early on. Every faculty member at Nazareth College seems to have a
story about the student who picked a particularly inappropriate time to try to talk –
students wanting to discuss a paper grade at the gym, wanting to discuss a midterm in the
bathroom. These are extreme cases, but even mild incursions can be annoying during
busy times of the semester. When you don‘t think it‘s appropriate to talk with a student at
a particular moment, simply say that this isn‘t a good time and encourage the student to
send an e-mail, call, come by during office hours, or make an appointment.

Crossing the Line
Some of the following suggestions represent our best definition of the narrow (and
somewhat obvious) line where interaction with students veers toward the inappropriate.

Dating or having any sort of close personal relationship with a student taking one of your
classes is inappropriate, unethical, and possibly illegal. For a student who previously took
a class with you and will never take another one, the situation might seem a bit more
ambiguous. Nevertheless, it is generally considered inappropriate, especially before the
student has graduated.

Friendship, however, is a genuinely ambiguous situation as well as somewhat inevitable
at such a small school. The best recommendation is that you make a concerted effort to
treat all students equitably regardless of your particular relationship with them. If you
find yourself unable to do this for any reason, encourage the student in question to drop
your class and find another section – or at least to avoid taking classes from you in the
future. Students might become friends over time, but, prior to graduation, you are
expected to treat them with a professional level of formality.

Advising
One of your important roles as a faculty member at Nazareth College will be as an
advisor. For departments with lots of majors, advisors usually serve only students
enrolled in the department‘s major program. For other departments, faculty might handle
advising for undecided or undeclared students. In either case, expect to begin advising
students every October and March.

For new advisors, Academic Advisement offers training sessions on how to use NazNet
for such tasks as looking up courses, checking student program requirements, and
assisting with course registration. These training sessions also explain the requirements
that apply to all Nazareth College students, including placement for math classes, college
writing courses, and the liberal arts and sciences core curriculum. If you cannot attend
one of these sessions, contact Academic Advisement (x2871) so that their staff can
schedule a time for you to come in for training.



                                          Page 10
Your department will have specific requirements for majors. Your chair and/or faculty
mentor can provide you with information about the department‘s various programs. If
your department serves a great number of students pursuing education certification,
professional licensing, or other outside accreditation, expect to receive information about
course, training, and examination requirements for these programs.

Through NazNet, you can access a list of your advisees. It is not a formal requirement
that you contact these students at any time other than during the advisement period.
However, it is a good idea to send a mass e-mail to your advisees at the beginning of the
semester giving them your contact information and office hours.

During the advisement period, each of your advisees will need to meet with you
individually for a half-hour appointment to discuss his or her current academic progress,
goals, and future courses. In addition, you will want to check a proposed schedule for the
next semester. Asking students about plans to study abroad, for graduate study, or for
internship programs can help you offer appropriate guidance regarding required
paperwork and course planning.

Many advisors make extensive notes at each appointment and keep them in the student‘s
advising folder. These notes can help the chair advise students if an emergency arises
where you are unavailable. To even out advising workloads, students are sometimes
switched to another advisor. Your notes can make the new advisor‘s work much easier. If
a student switches majors, a new advisor will surely appreciate any comments you have
made about the student‘s goals and progress.

For students to register using NazNet, you must clear them for registration after they have
met with you by checking their name under ―Advisor Registration Approval‖ in NazNet.
If you forget to give electronic clearance, students will not be able to register.

Your other tasks as an advisor are relatively infrequent and painless. You might need to
help a student fill out paperwork to add a minor or second major. At the beginning of the
semester, you will surely sign a few add/drop slips. A student on academic probation
might need to be referred to tutors or other support services on campus.

If one of your advisees seems to be in serious academic or personal trouble, don‘t hesitate
to ask for help. Your department chair is an excellent first person to ask for advice.
Academic Advisement (x2871), Counseling Services (x2887), or the First Year Center
(x2884) can also be of assistance.

Funds for Undergraduate Student Engagement (FUSE)
Formerly known as the Undergraduate Student Retention Fund, the FUSE is available for
faculty, staff, and student leaders who would like to sponsor programs promoting student
interaction between first and second year students and members of the Nazareth College
community. Programs may take place either on or off campus and applications can be
picked up and submitted to The First Year Center, located on the ground floor of Kearney



                                          Page 11
Hall across from the stairs to the dining hall. You may also visit the First Year Center's
website to download a FUSE application at

/dept/fyc/docs/fuse_requestform.pdf

Should you have further questions, you may contact the administrator of the fund,
Marrlee Burgess, at 389-2884 or e-mail her at mburges4@naz.edu.

Unique Situations: Students with Letters of Accommodation
When a student hands you a letter of accommodation, first, realize that the student has
done exactly the right thing. Legally and ethically, you are responsible for
accommodating a student‘s physical and/or learning disabilities in the ways that are
described in the letter you received—no more and no less.

The letter does not describe the exact nature of the student‘s disability. If he or she
wishes to do so, the student can tell you why these accommodations are necessary, but it
is not a matter of public record and not relevant to your responsibilities. The Office for
Students with Disabilities designs accommodations after reviewing the student‘s specific
situation.

The Office for Students with Disabilities is greatly challenged by a mismatch of need and
available resources. If you need to discuss a student or if a student needs their help, it
might take some time. Please contact the office directly.

The “W” Course
If you are teaching a Writing Intensive course (also called a W course), you should have
attended a training session offered by the Writing Across the Curriculum Committee
(WAC). Occasionally, new faculty teach these courses without the appropriate training.
Ask your faculty mentor to put you in touch with the current head of the WAC
Committee to set up a mini-training session if you find yourself in this situation. What is
offered here is a brief introduction to Writing Intensive courses, not a substitute for the
requisite training.

W courses have a few important goals:

       • To help students improve their writing.
       • To help students learn to write in a particular academic discipline.
       • To help students understand writing as a process.
       • To encourage students to see writing as a tool for thinking and learning.
       • To evaluate students‘ writing skills.

To help meet these goals, all W courses incorporate the following elements:

       • Significant formal writing assignments.
       • Informal writing assignments that encourage students to reflect on their own
       writing and learning.



                                           Page 12
       • Assignments designed to facilitate the process of developing a piece of writing,
       perhaps even a required revision.
       • For each student, at least two individual conferences with the instructor to
       discuss their written work.

Clearly, incorporating these elements will likely generate a significant amount of work
for you. To recognize this work, Nazareth College offers two accommodations:

       • Writing Intensive courses are capped at a maximum of twenty-five students.
       (Please note that some departments regularly over-subscribe these classes to
       accommodate the needs of majors or minors seeking to meet requirements.)
       • For every three Writing Intensive courses a faculty member teaches, he or she
       receives a ―chip‖ for a course release. (That being said, some departments are
       better about arranging for faculty members to use these chips than others. Some
       courses in your department that are designated ―W‖ for the purpose of student
       requirements might not count as ―W‖ courses for faculty. Ask your faculty mentor
       for more detailed information.)

All Nazareth College students are required to take a certain number of W courses both
inside and outside of their majors in order to graduate. To ensure that students in these
classes have adequately completed the elements most central to the goals of the Writing
Across the Curriculum program, they receive two distinct grades for W classes. The first,
a regular letter grade, reflects students‘ overall performance in the class, like any other
course grade. The second, the W evaluation, is either an S for satisfactory writing
performance, or a U for unsatisfactory writing performance. Specific guidelines for
distinguishing between satisfactory and unsatisfactory writing performance are available
from the WAC committee. Please be aware that a student can receive a high grade on
required course work, but still demonstrate unsatisfactory writing skills.

The Writing Program
The College has a first year writing program that is administered by the English
Department and more specifically by the Director of Writing Programs. The first year
writing courses are taught by junior faculty and adjuncts. You might assume that the
course sequence generates writers to complete college-level work. Unfortunately, this
expectation is not accurate for a number of reasons. A significant percentage
(approximately 25%) of Nazareth students test out of the college‘s writing classes. While
all of the courses pursue common goals, they meet these goals in different ways and thus
might include assignments or cover material that aren‘t closely related to the type of
writing you require in your class or discipline. Passing the writing courses is quite a bit
different than mastering the skills presented within them. In sum, you can‘t count on
every student in a class having had the exact same writing courses or training, much less
what you consider adequate experience and instruction in formal academic writing skills
most commonly utilized in your discipline.




                                          Page 13
        OTHER SOURCES OF SUPPORT WHILE YOU ARE TEACHING

While the basic elements of any class are the instructor and students, you will find that
Nazareth offers (and in some cases, expects you to use) other resources to support your
teaching. This section offers a brief survey of library, technology, and other helpful
centers on campus.

The Library – Getting Started
Once you have your Nazareth ID card (NazCard), you will need to physically go to the
Lorette Wilmot Library (also called Wilmot) to fill out paperwork and set up your library
account. At Nazareth, faculty can check out books for long-term loan. Any books you
take out at Wilmot don‘t need to be renewed or returned until the end of the academic
year. While you are there, you may also want to obtain the Rochester Area Consortium
library card and paperwork. This card allows you as a Nazareth College faculty member
to check books out from participating area libraries.

To obtain books and materials from libraries outside the immediate vicinity, you will also
need to set up an interlibrary loan (ILLiad) account. Instructions for setting up an account
are available through the Wilmot Library‘s website and are straightforward. If you need
assistance, just ask. A librarian will be happy to walk you through the process.

Other valuable information about the Wilmot Library and the services they provide can
be obtained from its WWW site (insert url here).

Course Management Software
The college currently subscribes to a course management software program called
Blackboard. If you require training in how to use Blackboard, contact Paul Monachino
(office: Smyth 83, phone: x2117; email: pmonach3@naz.edu).

For those who have used other course management software programs, such as WebCT
or Angel, Blackboard will seem relatively familiar. Even for novices, the step-by-step
process of posting materials in the online course site is easy, if a bit time-consuming.

If you are interested in using Blackboard for one of your courses but aren‘t exactly sure
how it might be most helpful, it is recommended that you take the following steps:

       • Ask if anyone in your department uses Blackboard, and set up a meeting to
       discuss how he or she uses it.
       • Make an appointment with Paul Monachino, ITS Instruction Technology
       Specialist (office: Smyth 83, phone: x2117; email: pmonach3@naz.edu) to
       workshop ideas for incorporating technology into your course.
       • Once you‘ve decided to use the program, start small. The first semester you
       might use only one or two features and then add components in subsequent
       classes and sections.




                                           Page 14
Be aware that the college might switch to a new course management software tool in the
next year or so. In addition, some departments (notably, the School of Education) use
other more specialized programs that require additional training. Your department chair
or mentor will be able to provide you with information about these programs.

Personalized Course Websites
Faculty members may create websites for courses and for personal use. Information on
personal websites can be found at the ITS site (www.naz.edu/its). You will have to fill
out a form, also available from ITS, to secure space on the Nazareth College server.
GENERAL RESOURCES
Office Supplies
Common office supplies can be obtained immediately from Office Services in Smyth 47
(x2070). Anything that they don‘t have in stock, they will order and have for you in a
couple of days. Most orders require your department chair‘s signature. You can expect
that the college will supply basic office and teaching items such as paper, pens, file
folders, chalk, and other simple materials. If you want something highly specialized or
personal, though – such as a special type of fountain pen you prefer to use for grading –
you should plan to purchase it yourself.

The college should already have provided you with a computer and printer. Paper for
your printer is most commonly obtained through your department secretary, though some
departments have other systems in place. Be sure to ask how to obtain and record your
use of reams of paper.

Computer printer cartridges are stocked and distributed by the ITS‘s User Support Office,
Smyth 85 (x2111). You will need to go pick up your cartridges in person. Be sure to have
the make and model number of your printer with you when you ask for new cartridges.
Some departmental secretaries will do this for you.

Copies
All departments have access to a copy machine for replicating syllabi and handouts. In
some departments, the secretary will even take on this job if given adequate lead-time.
For large or complex copying jobs, use Office Services. Orders are processed in 24-48
hours, so you‘ll need to plan ahead, especially at the beginning of the semester. With
your departmental copier code, you can use any photocopier located throughout the
numerous resource rooms across campus.

External Mail
Items being sent via United States Post are handled by Office Services (x2070), including
first class mail, presorted first class mail, international airmail, Priority & Express Mail,
and Library Mail. USPS special services are also available, including certified, return
receipt, delivery confirmation, insurance, and customs forms. Be sure to include your
department‘s name above the return address on any letters and packages to ensure that the
postage is charged to the correct department. Office Services also has forms for DHL and
Fed-Ex.




                                           Page 15
Internal Mail
Your department secretary or your assigned mentor can show you exactly where to pick
up campus mail. Mail is customarily delivered twice a day.

To send something to another office by campus mail, note the name and department of
the person on the envelope. Most items can be sent in an inter-office reusable envelope.
Such envelopes, as well as the place to drop off campus mail, are usually located near
your mailbox.

Packages and boxes usually are held somewhere other than your mailbox or mailroom.
Ask where your packages will be stored, and be sure to check this area periodically as
you will not always be notified when an item has arrived and is waiting for you.


                      GRADING AND OTHER NECESSITIES

Adding and Dropping Courses
Nazareth College has a very short period during which students can adjust their schedules
without penalty each semester. Usually, significant changes are limited to the first week
of classes.

The benefit of this policy is that few students make radical changes to their schedules.
Unlike at some other institutions of higher education, your classroom won‘t seem like it
has a revolving door for the first few weeks of each semester. You can assume that your
class roster on the first day will change only in minor ways.

The detriment of this policy is that after the first week of classes, it is difficult for
students to drop your class. Often students discover only after the add/drop period that
they are inadequately prepared for the challenges of your course and are not doing well.

While you can‘t order such students to drop your class, you can tell them that, based on
the work you have already seen, it appears that the student will have a difficult time
completing the course‘s requirements. Let the student know what options he or she has,
including working with a peer tutor.

The last day to drop the class with a grade of ―W‖ comes much later in the semester.
Students in academic difficulty should discuss with their advisors the possibility of
withdrawing from the course.

Midterm Grades
Students who are in their first year at Nazareth College receive midterm grades for all of
their courses. As well, other students can receive midterm grades for a number of
reasons.

The request for midterm grades usually reaches you in the fourth or fifth week of the
semester with a deadline at the end of the sixth or seventh week. These deadlines allow



                                          Page 16
the Registrar‘s Office to distribute these grades to students around the middle of the
semester. While helpful for the Registrar, to faculty members, midterm grades often seem
to be based on what seems like an insufficient amount of work.

To make midterm grades as helpful to your students as possible, take the following steps:

       • Try to have at least one relatively major assignment graded before the deadline
       for midterm grades (two are better), especially in classes that have a large
       percentage of first-year students.
       • If you know that your midterm grade is something of a ―guesstimate,‖ round
       down for a lower grade. It is better to indicate a student has a C at midterm and
       then have that person wind up with an A- than to explain how a student went from
       an A- at midterm to a D in the course.
       • Before the grades come out, take some class time to explain the nature of the
       official midterm grades to your students and how much of the course is being
       used to calculate it, particularly if you are going to be returning a significant
       assignment soon after you submit the grades.
       • Worst case scenario, give students a grade of ―S‖ for satisfactory performance or
       ―U‖ for unsatisfactory performance. Be aware, though, that such grades don‘t tell
       students or advisors as much as the precise grades ranging from A to F.

Failing Students
The minimum action required for failing students is that you record an F grade for the
student at the end of the semester. In practice, however, it is strongly recommended that
you contact the student‘s advisor and anyone else who might need to know that the
student is in danger of failing your course before you record the final grade. In addition,
compile a record of the correspondences that indicates you did so prior to handing in the
final grade. Students who are surprised to see an F as their final grade (and the parents of
such students) tend to write pleading e-mail messages or place angry phone calls to
administrators during the weeks when you are trying to catch up on your reading, have a
family holiday, or simply get some sleep. Keeping students and their advisors apprised of
their failing status during the course is the best remedy against this.

The two basic steps you should take are as follows:

       • Send an e-mail message to the student stating that he or she is failing your class.
       Be sure to indicate why failure seems imminent to you (excessive absences, not
       handing in assignments, performance on tests, etc). Also, mention whether it is
       possible for the student to pass the course if his or her work performance
       improves. Outline specific steps the student might need to take, if possible (such
       as seeing the Writing Center for help with written assignments or contacting his
       or her advisor to withdraw from the course). Keep a copy of this e-mail message
       for your files.
       • Complete the academic warning form available as a PDF on the Academic
       Advisement Office‘s website. (Alternately, you can ask your department
       secretary, chair, or official mentor for a copy – they might know it as ―the pink



                                           Page 17
       form.‖) Once completed, send the form to the Academic Advisement Office
       (Smyth 2). They will use your comments to generate a letter that will be copied to
       the student, the student‘s official academic advisor(s), and you. Be aware that the
       student has access to this form, so you shouldn‘t write anything you wouldn‘t
       want him or her to read. The letter is usually mailed within forty-eight hours of
       receiving your completed document. The letter becomes part of the student‘s
       official advising record.

By taking these two steps, you ensure that the student is aware of his or her academic
status in your class before the final grade is submitted.

You might wish to take additional action depending on the nature of the student‘s
particular case. Common additional steps include:

       • Asking the student to meet with you in your office to discuss his or her
       academic progress.
       • Contacting the student‘s official academic advisor by e-mail or phone.
       • Contacting any campus offices that you know serve this student (for example,
       the Center for International Education in the case of an international student or the
       Office for Students with Disabilities for a student with an official accommodation
       letter).
       • In the case of graduating seniors, contact Academic Advisement and the
       Assistant to the Vice President for Academic Affairs as soon as possible. These
       offices need to know if a student will not graduate when he or she expects.
       Commencement programs will need to be planned appropriately.


                          FEEDBACK AND EVALUATION

An important facet of teaching at Nazareth College is evaluation and feedback. Nazareth
College places a premium on teaching excellence, it is an integral part of its history and
tradition and the most important component when you are considered for tenure and
promotion. Collecting effective evaluation and feedback data are at the heart of effective
teaching and can provide useful snapshots to see how you are progressing and developing
as a teacher. These data are also a way for you to learn how to develop and improve.
Department chairs frequently read evaluations to see how the instructor is faring, but also
to help instructors become better teachers.

The Center for Teaching Excellence at Nazareth will provide you with examples of some
kinds of feedback you may wish to use early in the semester or will provide you with
consultation on designing an appropriate form to meet your needs. At the end of each
school year, all Nazareth College faculty are required to write a self evaluation,
summarizing the past year‘s activities in three areas: teaching, service to the institution
and your department, and professional activities. In addition, you are asked to write about
your future plans in each of these areas along with a projected date for completion. Self-
evaluations are read first by your department chair. The chair will schedule a meeting



                                          Page 18
with each faculty member to go over the self-evaluation and may suggest changes. The
self-evaluation is then sent to your dean, who then meets with your departmental chair.
The deans then meet with the Vice-President for Academic Affairs where they discuss
the performance of the various departments.

The IDEA
Developed at Kansas State University, the IDEA is the commercial course evaluation
system used by Nazareth College. Most faculty members will become familiar with the
IDEA evaluations. Untenured faculty are asked to use it in at least two of their classes
each semester, unless an alternate form has been approved. Among student rating forms,
the IDEA system is actually somewhat unique in that it proceeds from the assumption
that there is no one correct way to teach. Thus, it focuses on student behavior (i.e.,
learning) rather than teacher behavior. Each report is also ―tailored‖ to the specifics of the
individual course. It is also unique in that it emphasizes the constructive use of the data
that is generated as a result of its administration.

Because of these unique characteristics, there is a strong connection between what
learning goals are emphasized in a class, the kinds of student reports of their experience
that should follow from those goals, and the language faculty may want to use in building
their syllabi. There also can be considerable confusion about the form and how to
interpret the results. To help faculty and departments make effective use of the
information they receive, IDEA maintains an excellent WWW site
(http://www.theideacenter.org/) with a huge array of useful resources. As part of the New
Faculty Orientation and faculty noontime discussion at the Center for Teaching
Excellence, you will have several chances to review and discuss the IDEA and how to
use it effectively.

Detailed instructions about administering the IDEA will also be included in the packet
that arrives in your mailbox at the end of the semester.

Departmental Evaluations
Many departments have their own course evaluation forms and systems. For courses that
do not use the IDEA (and sometimes for those as well), you will likely be expected to
have students complete a departmental evaluation.

It is strongly advised that you ask your faculty mentor and/or department chair for a copy
of the departmental evaluation early in the semester, if not at the beginning. Be sure to
think about the questions and the language contained in the evaluation while creating
your course materials, especially your syllabus. The goal is to incorporate into your
course planning aspects of teaching that your colleagues consider valuable as well as
demonstrate your willingness to work for the betterment of the students. Teaching
effectiveness does not occur in isolation but means being part of a community.

Finally, make sure you plan to have the class time necessary for students to complete
course evaluations. Nothing yields poor evaluations like those done hurriedly or in the
midst of a mad crush of last minute assignments. Allowing adequate time (at least thirty



                                           Page 19
minutes) and telling students that evaluations are important to you, facilitates meaningful
feedback.

Completed departmental evaluations are usually submitted to the department secretary by
a student volunteer. If the department office is closed at the time when you complete
evaluations, ask the student to deliver the evaluations the following day during regular
office hours. It is a good idea to note who volunteered to turn in the evaluations and
check with the department secretary to make sure they were actually received.

Mid-Semester Evaluations
The advantage of mid-semester feedback is that it provides information you can use
immediately and directly to make adjustments to a course you are teaching while there is
still time to do so (i.e., the information gained from end of the semester evaluations can
only be applied to the next course you teach). Mid-semester feedback is especially useful
during your first semester teaching a course or when you are planning to make revisions
to a course, although some faculty find it useful to collect mid-semester feedback in
nearly every course.

Mid-semester feedback is an efficient and systematic way to obtain information about
what is and what isn‘t working in a particular course. Collecting this feedback early in the
semester, then sharing your findings and what changes you plan to make as a result of the
feedback students have given you has several other advantages. First, it sends the
message that effective learning requires a partnership and students can have a positive
voice in the classroom. Second, it will help clarify for you and (ultimately for the
students) which issues and concerns are widespread and which are limited to only a few
individuals.

There is a huge range of evaluation formats and questions that can be asked. What is
important is that you have a clear sense of why you are collecting it and what you hope to
learn from the feedback. The Center for Teaching Excellence, will supply you with
examples of questions that can often yield useful results. For example, a highly effective
evaluation might ask nothing more than:

       • In what ways has your understanding of …(fill in one of your goals) been
       affected by the course?
       • What element of this class has been most beneficial in helping you learn? Why?
       • What element of this class has been least beneficial to you? Why?
       • If there were one element of this class you could change, what would it be?
       What specific change would you make, and why?

Answers to these questions can quickly give you a sense of what is going well and what
isn‘t for the class as a group. While many faculty often feel they have a sense of this
based on informal student comments, these impressions can often be skewed by a few
highly vocal students. A structured feedback form will provide a much more systematic
and comprehensive reading of the class as a whole. It can reveal which issues and
concerns are limited to one or two individuals and which issues are shared more broadly.



                                          Page 20
Midterm evaluations can serve as a way to assess your course as well as the opening for a
dialogue with students about how to help everyone succeed to the greatest extent
possible. When you have had a chance to analyze the results, be sure you share them with
the students. Something as simple as letting them know what percentage of students gave
specific responses may be enough, depending on what you were trying to do and what
responses you received. In other cases, it may be best to type up a summary of the results
and share them with the class as you explain what changes you are going to implement in
response to the feedback and why. If you are going to reject some of their suggestions,
explain your reasons for doing so.

Year-End Self Evaluation
At the end of each academic year, every faculty member is expected to complete a faculty
data sheet detailing courses taught, service to the institution and your department, and
professional activities. Untenured faculty members must also include sections that set
goals for the upcoming academic year as well as several narratives. This document is
customarily due a week before the end of the academic year contract. Usually, it must be
submitted to the department chair in time to allow him or her to write an evaluation of the
faculty member and to enable them to meet with you.

Putting together this self-evaluation document can be a wonderful exercise in a number
of ways. It allows you to reflect on all you have accomplished throughout the year.
Setting future goals and putting them in writing can keep your work on track. Most of all,
completing this document every year is purported to make compiling tenure documents
relatively easy and straightforward. With light revision, your annual self-evaluations can
form the core of your tenure packet.

However, creating this document in the rush of other end-of-year activities can make the
process something many faculty members dread. Some new faculty have had the horrific
experience of being given a blank form in the last week of classes and told to complete it
during the week they had planned to be grading final papers and examinations.

You are strongly advised to ask your faculty mentor for a copy of this form as soon as
possible. You might even wish to ask a few other new faculty members (ideally people
from your department) to share their own self-evaluations with you. Keep the blank form
as a document on the desktop of your office computer. Whenever you get a few minutes
of free time (or as a weekly task), jot down a few notes in the key sections. Keep a
running list of all the service activities you have performed on campus throughout the
year. Compiling data in this document over the course of nine months can make that last
week of writing a bit more pleasant and productive.




                                          Page 21
                               APPENDIX A:
                     NAZARETH TEACHING PHILOSOPHIES

To give you a sense of what teaching at Nazareth is like, what follows is a small
collection of teaching philosophies. The starting points and perspectives taken are
actually quite varied, which is what makes these documents so interesting. Enjoy!

                                   April Aerni, PhD
                            Professor Emritus of Economics
                             Nazareth College of Rochester

                                   Teaching Philosophy

       I bring my ―self‖ into the classroom. I bring my analytical skills, my knowledge,
my irrationality, my ability to read and synthesize vast amounts of complex material, my
prejudices, my percipience, my discipline, my penchant to mix and mangle metaphors,
and my annoying traits. ―Do you know,‖ my husband asks in exasperation, ―how often
you stop in the middle of a sentence and start over and how hard this makes it to follow
what you‘re saying?‖ I trip over certain words repeatedly. I frequently get students‘
names mixed up. I get carried away when a student asks an unexpected question and talk
excitedly for 20 minutes before I realize I‘ve lost every student in the class. I have to
remind myself they don‘t care so much about why a central bank should be independent
or what economist completed the mathematical model of revealed preference theory.
Even taking into account the philosophical and Buddhist difficulties of defining self, still,
myself is all I really have to offer my students. Isn‘t that all any of us has to offer?

        Given that, the question becomes, what about me is useful to my students. It‘s
hard to know most of the time. A student says to me, ―Now I read and understand the
economics and business news.‖ Another works for a bank and tells a colleague of mine,
―I learned everything I needed to know in April‘s Money and Banking class.‖ That‘s
straightforward. Sometimes it‘s a story about their personal development; ―You and X
were the professors who really turned me on or helped me grow up.‖ But, there‘s also a
student who told me her sister had told her to take my class, ―She said you wear cool
shoes.‖ A whole semester of principles condensed down to my shoe preferences. Who
knows, maybe she just needed to know it‘s okay for a woman to wear comfortable shoes?

        One problem with self is that my ego can get in the way of my students‘ learning
very quickly and easily. The best way to deal with this is to make sure I‘m engaged, that
I‘m all ―here, now, in the moment,‖ in the classroom. Much of teaching is scary as well
as hard work. From my stage fright the first week of classes to the fear of making a fool
of myself to the difficulty of bringing myself—to expose myself—in front of all these
people I barely know; it‘s scary. But, it‘s the same thing, only worse, for my students.
Teaching and learning are often scary, uncomfortable and challenging.




                                           Page 22
        Some things I‘ve learned. Doing more—more content, more assignments, more
pedagogy or more projects—is not necessarily better. If it‘s too much work for me, it‘s
probably too much work for my students as well. Leave time to think, time to grow, time
to have fun in the classroom. Keep a relaxed attitude. It‘s not like we‘re surgeons and our
students are bleeding in front of us. What‘s the worst I can do—bore them? Try to keep
students from taking it all too seriously. I tell students, ―No-one outside of academia after
your first job will ever ask you what your GPA was.‖ Each of us has to figure out which
of the numerous pedagogical tools and techniques will work for us some of the time;
some days, nothing works. There is no magic formula. There are 35 people looking at me
with nothing working, I still have 20 minutes of class time and someone has fallen asleep.
This is why I need to be well prepared, and I remind myself, each of them has a life as
well and maybe, the one asleep was up late last night taking their roommate to the
hospital. Sometimes a movie is just fine.

         Be prepared to be comfortable with chaos. The process of learning is often not
clear, linear or organized. No matter how much I‘ve read about learning, there are days
when students are in groups discussing something and I‘m not sure if they‘re on task or if
it‘s useful. I keep concluding, over and over again, that they‘re learning more if they‘re
talking about the subject than if I‘m talking. Sometimes those ―teachable moments‖
happen when I‘m really prepared and sometimes they happen when I‘m caught off-base
and winging it. They‘ve never happened when I have a fever or bad cold so those days I
should learn to just go home and get in bed. Maybe, I‘m a slow learner. Students need to
be touched and so do teachers, and yes, I mean physically. For a long time I didn‘t touch
students, ever, but as I‘ve aged and read on the topic, we humans need to touch each
other. I‘m careful about how and when I do it and it‘s easier for me as I am a small
woman, i.e., generally considered non-threatening, and old enough to be considered a-
sexual, at least by my students.

        Teaching is a communal activity. I am better because my colleagues are better and
we talk to each other and share ideas and support. Different students will ―click‖ with
different ones of us, depending on their learning and our teaching styles and personalities.
In teaching we‘re all connected—students, teacher, colleagues.

        If anything, my teaching philosophy is more amorphous and vague now than
when I first started teaching. Once, I heard an educator say when she first started teaching
it was all about content, then about pedagogy, and finally, about students. I‘m in that
third stage. What I think about most is who‘s in my class. I read over the class lists ahead
of time. Who are they as individuals? What will the group dynamics be? How will they
learn? How can I/will I engage them? So much of learning is motivation, theirs and mine.
Each group is different. Not one class in 36 semesters has ever been quite the same.
Group dynamics matter a lot and for all the techniques I‘ve learned about group work and
participation, much of it I can‘t control. But, anytime I think I‘m in control of anything in
the classroom, I‘m mistaken. A lot of learning takes place one-on-one with students,
before or after class, or when you‘re talking to a small group stuck on a particular
problem or outside of class altogether and I don‘t quite know how to create more of these
situations. The hardest is when I‘ve got a group I just can‘t connect with.



                                           Page 23
        At fifty, as a full professor and after over twenty years of teaching, I have enough
power. I have both ―power over‖ and ―power of specialized knowledge and expertise‖ in
the classroom. I also have power because of my class, race, the country I was born in, and
my family and friends‘ status and resources. My job is to empower my students, the only
way power won‘t corrupt me too much. I want to empower and not marginalize any of
them; there‘s no formula for doing this. I go back to the best I can do is to bring my self
into the classroom and be present and open to them and to the chaos of that moment.

         The punch line to some comedy skit I no longer remember went, ―You don‘t
know much and that‘s a fact.‖ That‘s true for me as well as my students. Knowledge is
like concentric circles; I‘m on a circle further out than my students, knowing much more
than they do. Yet, they could list just a handful of things they don‘t know about
economics while I could list pages. My dissertation chair said to me, ―A PhD is to teach
you how much you don‘t know about a subject.‖ Remembering how much I still have to
learn helps keep me engaged in teaching. Over the years I have learned far more and
grown more from my students than any of them have from me and am humbled and
grateful. I get paid for what I do so technically that makes me a professional, however, I
still feel like an amateur. On my good days, I play for the love of the game.


                              Patricia Bowen-Moore, PhD
                                Professor of Philosophy
                             Nazareth College of Rochester

                               A Philosophy of Professing

        Arguably, the best fun I have at Nazareth is in the classroom! In the past twenty
years, I have moved from a teacher who teaches content to a teacher who experiences the
content of the areas I teach as more integrated in me as a person. This is not only an
important statement pointing to my growth but is important as well for my students who
– whether they know it or not – are the direct beneficiaries of this enlargement of mind
and soul. I have noticed over the years that, where at an earlier time I was less confident
in my belief that I had something worthwhile to say, I find that having grown in age and
(hopefully) wisdom, I am more assured that perhaps experience and steady contemplation
of higher realities come to fruition in the classroom. In my view, it is the difference
between teaching and professing. Further, I have come to recognize that I am not just a
professor of philosophy. I am, in my heart of hearts, a Catholic professor of philosophy.
Embracing this in myself informs the manner in which I embrace the student. Permit a
statement of clarification.

        Taking Aristotle‘s injunction to ‗Know Thyself,‘ the chief revelation I have come
to embrace in my professional growth is that I understand and interpret myself to be a
Catholic philosopher who does not dissociate the experience of faith and reason. I believe
philosophical reasoning pursues truth in the empirical world and is open to the possibility
of a supernatural realm. From the standpoint of a Catholic philosopher this entails, on the



                                          Page 24
one hand, a conviction of the tenets and creed of my Faith as possessive of Truth. It
entails a perception of person as possessive of an inherent dignity inseparable from a
Divine Account. It entails, as well, regulation of my behavior in the presence of ‗the
other‘ – i.e. my catholicity influences and sustains the manner in which I attempt to live
my life both personally and as a professional. As a Catholic I am open to opposing views
exactly because I know what I believe and why I believe it to be true.

        On the other hand, I take as a principle of human existence a twofold reality: a
human being is a spiritual being who is a seeker of truth; a human being is one who lives
by belief of something. As a philosopher, I pursue truth as it manifests itself in its
temporality. As a Catholic I have embraced, as formative of my being, the belief system
of my Faith. As a philosopher, I remain true to the principles and methodology of my
discipline as it pursues truth by way of a process governed by reason. As a Catholic
philosopher, I approach my discipline as a philosophic speculation conceived in a
dynamic union of faith. For example, my faith‘s ‗reasonableness‘ shapes the way I
approach the philosophical problem of evil; the nature of love; the quest for life‘s
meaning, the idea of person, etc. I hold dear the words of the late pope, John Paul II, in
Fides Et Ratio: ‗Faith … has no fear of reason, but seeks it out and has trust in it. Faith is
in a sense an “exercise of thought”; and human reason is neither annulled nor debased in
assenting to the contents of faith, which are in any case attained by way of free and
informed choice.’ (45-46)


                                Scott M. Campbell, PhD
                            Associate Professor of Philosophy
                             Nazareth College of Rochester

                                   Teaching Philosophy

     The closest that I could come to naming my pedagogical method would be to say that
it involves the close reading of texts. Philosophical texts are difficult to understand. I try
to show students that they can understand these difficult texts and reap the rewards of
doing so. I spend a great deal of time in class reading from the text and discussing with
my students the meaning of particular passages. If they can at first understand a text with
my help, then they can learn how to do so without my help. That is my goal, to get
students to the point where they can read and understand difficult philosophical texts on
their own. If they succeed in doing so, then the value of the class extends beyond the
semester in which they are taking it. Indeed, my hope is that students will cultivate a life-
long love of learning by exercising the strength and keenness of their minds, raising
themselves up to the level of these difficult texts, and realizing that they have the capacity
to engage themselves fruitfully with complex ideas.

    When I say that I want students to understand texts, what I mean is that I want them
to be able to interpret particular passages and to relate that interpretation to broader
philosophical concerns. An idea is a complex and variegated entity, a whole with many
parts. Complete understanding of an idea requires knowledge of both. Plato‘s dialogue



                                           Page 25
the Meno is important in this regard. Although I only teach that text in one of my classes,
my PII Ethics course, Socrates‘ insistence that to be virtuous one must have knowledge
of both the whole of virtue (what he calls the form of virtue) and the particular parts
(which would include particular virtues such as courage, moderation, and justice) serves
as a guide for me in all of my teaching. I encourage my students to see that in order to
understand an idea, they need to be able not only to explain the particular parts of that
idea but also to situate those particulars into a broader context.

    The assessments in my courses follow this pattern. In all of my PII courses, students
take exams that require them to identify and interpret passages in terms of parts and
wholes. Learning this skill will benefit them no matter what field they pursue. They will
need to provide clear explanations of particular ideas and then relate those to broader
issues and problems.

    An important part of my teaching involves showing students how they can become
better readers. In my Ethics course over the past few years, I have taught Mortimer
Adler‘s classic text, How to Read a Book. He explains clearly how understanding a book
means identifying what the book is about as a whole and being able to explain its major
parts and how those parts fit together to form a whole, coherent argument. Although
students initially ask themselves why they are reading a book about how to read when
they already know how to read, eventually they realize that there are higher levels of
reading. Reading is a habit that they can become better at doing. For that class, I
designed an assignment requiring students to construct an analytical outline, which
focuses on the parts and the whole of a particular text.

    I put considerable care into the construction of assignments that would facilitate
student learning. Of particular note, I administer quizzes to all of my students in every
class every week. The idea of weekly quizzes came from the Logic I class, where that
practice is standard. In the spring of 2001, my first year teaching at Nazareth, I decided
to adopt this practice in all of my classes. To be sure, grading upwards of 100 quizzes a
week puts considerable demands on my time. But the quizzes require students to review
their texts and their notes every week, and this leads to lively and informed class
discussion. Also, it allows me to determine my students‘ weaknesses and strengths, not
to mention the fact that they appreciate the way it forces them to keep up with what we
are doing in class. Many of these quizzes involve the interpretation of passages from the
texts, which means in my PII classes, students are writing about the ideas we are
discussing on a weekly basis.

    All of my upper level classes focus on a leading question, which we return to
throughout the course of the semester. In my Ethics course, the question is ―What is the
best way to live?‖ In Western Political Philosophy: ―How is political theory connected to
one‘s understanding of human nature?‖ In Contemporary philosophy: ―What are the
conceptions of the self and language (and their relation) after metaphysics?‖ In
American philosophy: ―What is the pragmatic conception of truth?‖ These leading
questions serve as the frame for each course so that students can read texts during the




                                          Page 26
semester with a special emphasis and focus, instead of simply following a history of ideas
about a particular topic.

    In all of my courses, I emphasize the value not only of reading, as I have already
mentioned, but also of speaking and writing. Philosophical ideas need to be spoken out
loud. Students need to learn how to articulate their ideas. One of the more important
things I have learned as a teacher is that the knowledge students have shows in their
ability to speak about what they know. My classes combine lecture, close readings of the
text, and class discussion. Many of my students, if not all of them at some point,
participate in class discussion.

    Reading, speaking, and writing are all similar activities, in that they involve some
kind of articulation. Students in my classes must do a great deal of writing, both formal
and informal. In my upper level courses, I use Wayne Booth‘s text, the Craft of Research,
to show students how to write thesis statements and how to write coherent introductions
and conclusions. I have also designed assignments that require students to write about
their research and to use that in their critical analyses.

    I have come to realize how important it is to teach students basic skills, which they
can use to engage the ideas in the texts we are reading in more sophisticated ways. By
encouraging thoughtful class discussion, showing students how to become better
analytical readers, and designing assignments that require them to write with clarity,
precision, and reflection, I believe that my students are advancing in those skills that will
help them to appreciate the value of understanding complex, difficult ideas. The
assignments in my classes are designed so that students will achieve these objectives.
Above all, I hope that students will learn how to think for themselves and, thereby, reach
their own conclusions. The highest compliment I received once was from a student who
said that I made him think. Indeed, it is not necessary for students to agree with my
interpretation of a text. I want to show students how they can read and think critically,
develop their own questions, use the texts we read to answer those questions, and then
articulate their ideas thoughtfully and honestly to others. If students are thinking and
making insights through my courses, then I believe that I am being an effective teacher.

    The foundation for all of my upper level classes is the PI course in Logic and Inquiry.
Ideas from this course extend into all of my upper level classes. The one thing I would
emphasize about this course and my approach to teaching it is the importance I place on
what students say. Many of my students do not realize the power of their own words.
They fail to see how important it is for them to choose their words carefully, because
what they say commits them, logically, to certain ideas. For that matter, their facility
with language will determine what they are able to understand. In this course, I try to
show students the kind of force their words can have, both on the thoughts and ideas of
others as well as on their own potential for learning.

    While assignments, syllabi, texts, and course objectives are essential to student
learning, the one thing that students focus on the most is the teacher. Indeed, the best
teaching tool I wield is, I believe, my own enthusiasm for philosophy. I am genuinely



                                           Page 27
interested and excited about the ideas we explore in my classes. Many students comment
that my own excitement about the material made them more interested in learning it
themselves. My favorite, from a student who took two courses from me: ―Dr. Campbell,
over the past few years you have demonstrated a wonderful blend of professionalism and
interest. Your passion for the subject matter is evident even on the grayest of Rochester
afternoons…‖

        Teaching is a vocation I take seriously. It is also one that I love. In all of my
courses, I use a guiding question to focus the theme of the course and then show students
that they need to address that question through close readings of the texts. In every case,
they need to learn how to explain their ideas clearly and then relate them to broader
contexts. My own enthusiasm for this kind of activity is, I believe, helping students to
gain an appreciation of philosophy and its wealth.


                                 Nancy S. Niemi, PhD
                 Associate Professor of Inclusive Childhood Education
                            Nazareth College of Rochester

                               My Philosophy of Education

        I believe that teaching is an act of social justice and change. So many people
denigrate teachers – anyone can teach, they say. We revere physicians because they can
save a life or kill it with the stroke of a scalpel, or a prescription, but teachers, too, can
save and kill a student, but it may take us longer: a learning disability detected or not, a
curious nature that is fed or starved. More just doing no harm, though, I teach because it
is a radical act of confidence in the power of people, in a concert of souls coming
together in thought and discussion. Teaching may be one of the most direct routes to
changing the world.

        I don‘t like schooling, though, as it is currently practiced in most places. I see too
much regimentation, too much having to play by the rules, and not enough questioning of
those rules in the first place. I see students lining up like the little factory workers they
were designed to be; I see kids worrying about the difference between an 89 and a 90 on
their biology tests; I see children‘s bodies cajoled into patterns that leave no room for
differentiation. I see rooms where somehow, someone has created a difference between
the thing that we call mathematics and the thing we call English, and then I see ―new‖
strategies about integrating the two, as if they were born separate in the first place.

        I believe teaching is the art of calling people to see that which is invisible to them:
the interconnections between people and earth, heaven and hell. No matter what I teach,
it is my responsibility, my calling, to use the opportunity to help us be more than we are
by ourselves, to know that we are not alone, that we can change what we see. It is not the
children we teach who are our future; saying that makes me feel as though we have
already given up on ourselves. It is we who are our own futures, and each teaching
moment, a chance to make that future present.



                                            Page 28
                                 Heidi Northwood, PhD
                                Professor of Philosophy
                              Nazareth College of Rochester

                                    Approach to Teaching
                                (written quite a while ago…)

         In many ways, I do not have a worked-out 'teaching philosophy', strategy or
methodology. I do, however, have a goal, and that is for my students to love the subject
as much as I do. So in another way, I do have a teaching philosophy, strategy, method—
but it is indirect. I love to learn, both about things that are clear, and about things that are
less clear. So I love to translate Greek and work on logical problems, and I also don't
mind feeling disturbed by the seemingly impossible task of speaking clearly about the
beautiful.

         This is what I love, and this is what I try to show to my students, that what is clear
and what is indistinct are both worthy of investigation. Often enough the students don't
end up loving the subject, but I think they do end up seeing that I do, and if I can't have it
all, then this is a pretty good second prize; even if they don't love it, they may come to
appreciate that there's something there that is loveable.

       I do not, however, set out to make my students love the subject through a specific
technique or method. Instead, I spend a lot of time preparing for my lectures so that
when I walk into the classroom, the problem or topic of the day is real for me and I am
worrying or excited about it. I have found that if I just ‗go through the material‘ without
losing myself in it, I don‘t feel engaged, and consequently my teaching becomes
mechanical.

         I try to alternate between what is clear and what is less clear in all my courses.
For example, in PI Logic and Inquiry, very difficult material in epistemology and
philosophy of language is broken up with exercises, for which there is a clear answer. In
Philosophy of Art, what is clear is often only what is wrong with a particular view and
this is placed next to the possibility that something else is knowable, but is extremely
difficult. As often as it makes sense to do so, I give my students course 'Goals and
Objectives' statements so that an end is clear to them, even if it isn't the whole story.

        In the classroom, I work through texts and ideas showing the students where
something is clear-cut, and where it isn't. What I mean by 'showing' needs further
comment. Telling a student that an idea is wrong is not the same as showing them that it
is wrong. 'Showing them' means leading them through the argument step-by-step so that
the conclusion that there is, say, an inconsistency in an author‘s ideas, is their own
conclusion—one that they are led to by their own reasoning. 'Telling them' would mean
that they had to take my word for it, and that would hardly be in line with a liberal
education, nor would they be developing their critical thinking skills. Further, this
distinction between the clear and the indistinct is not identical with the easy and the
difficult. While often enough clarity means grasping something easily, it is also



                                            Page 29
sometimes the case that clarity can be achieved only through a tremendous amount of
difficult work.

        It has taken me a long time to understand what I do in the classroom this way. I
have had to grapple with fears of being too easy and then being too hard. During these
past years I have become more and more comfortable showing the students who I am and
what I believe. I have spent considerable time thinking about course design. From one
run of a course to the next I usually revise the structure and content substantially.
Working on college program review has helped me to think about content and skills
outcomes and how I assess student learning. This has, I think, improved my course
design and assignments. I have also begun to see my upper-level courses (PII and above)
as extended arguments instead of ‗survey of ideas‘ courses.

         Consequently, my teaching has become more mature insofar as I am no longer
just teaching what other people think, but also what I think. A new challenge that attends
this is communicating to the students that my ideas are to be critically examined in the
same way as the authors‘ that we read in a book.


                          Virginia Skinner-Linnenberg, PhD
                                 Professor of English
                            Nazareth College of Rochester

                                 Philosophy of Teaching

        When I walk into a classroom, this is what I believe: mutual collaborative
learning is the foundation of teaching. That is, I believe knowledge is made by the
classroom community and all members of that community have an impact on and are
impacted by that knowledge-making. Therefore, my classroom becomes a collaboration
that includes a great deal of peer group work, student presentations and discussions. I
want every student‘s voice to be heard, every diverse viewpoint. A person passing by my
classroom once commented that it was ―quite noisy in there.‖ My reply was, ―That‘s
learning you hear.‖ Yes, I do have to present information at times in a mini-lecture
format. However, the students take over from there. They bring to the table the insights
they‘ve made from their readings, from their observations, from the writing they‘ve been
assigned for that day. They make their presentations, hold their discussions, and give
their input to each other—not just to me. And learning happens.

        For example, in my Technical Writing class (ENG 351), after I introduce concepts
regarding the integration of visuals with text, in groups the students must design a visual
to accompany pieces of text for a ―real life‖ report. Upon its completion, each group
makes a presentation to the rest of the class, who then must discuss the designs in terms
of the concepts I had introduced. Thus, the students are teaching themselves and each
other the practical side of the theory. I believe in these methods because I have seen their
impact on student learning. When my students talk to one another, they are teaching one




                                          Page 30
another, as well as themselves. The student evaluations also reinforce my belief. For
example, students have commented on the tech writing class:

      I really enjoyed this class. We had a variety of activities and projects that helped
       us learn and grasp the subject material. (Spring ‘03)

      I liked the group work that we did after the discussion of the particular topics for
       that day. After hearing about each new topic, and then going through and
       working on it with a group really cemented the knowledge in my head. Peer
       revision was helpful as well...I enjoyed the fresh perspectives that I got. (Fall ‘00)

      The course itself was extremely challenging, but I have learned more in one
       semester than all other semesters (no offense to my other teachers.) I had a great
       time. (Spring ‘01)

      I expected a lot of hard work, but it didn‘t seem too bad until the end of the
       semester. I enjoyed it and learned a lot from it. I‘m definitely glad that I took this
       class and feel that I will be much more prepared when I go out into the job
       market. The professor was excellent. (Spring ‘99)

   These evaluations are further confirmed by the fact that my students consistently win
awards for their projects from the tech writing class. This year alone, one of my students
won first prize in the Society for Technical Communication‘s scholarship competition.

        As equally important to student learning, I learn as much as my students (maybe
more at times). For instance, each time I teach Drama Lit (ENG 244), a student will
point out a new aspect of a play that I had not thought about before. Or a group of
students will present their own interpretation of a play scene and the whole class is
introduced to a new insight into the characters. This keeps the course new and lively in
my own eyes, as well as the students‘. Further, I do not consider myself the ultimate
authority in any class; I tell students when I don‘t know something and turn it into a
teaching moment with all of us racing to find the answer. I try to make my students feel
as comfortable as possible with me and with each other. I am always heartened when a
student, who was quite reticent at the beginning of the semester, feels comfortable
enough to join the discussion, or even disagree with something that another student (or
even I) has said. To further this cause, it is imperative for me to see where the students
are located in certain texts we use and what kinds of discourse have influenced them in
their learning journey. In two of my courses (Drama Lit and Playwriting), I actually
make my students write a hermeneutical discussion of their own lives (where they‘ve
come from, what has influenced them to be who they are), in order for them to
understand why they are who they are and why they interpret things the way they do.
This also gives me a better insight into where to begin the learning process.

        In the case of student writing, I teach the process giving the students many prose
models in order to guide the students through imitation. For example, in College Writing
I and II (ENG 101-102), as a class we read sample essays then together take them apart,


                                          Page 31
analyzing what the characteristics are of a successful essay of that type and what can
impede that success. I also require multiple revisions of student writing; they must revise
their drafts after conferencing with me and then again after peer revision, where they
receive ―audience‖ feedback from other students. I conference with students at least
twice during a semester (for all my classes—not just writing courses). In writing courses,
I conference at least three times a semester, more often four. However, again, I am not
the ultimate authority over their writing; they are. I am only a facilitator who guides
them toward the knowledge they need to become responsible for their own work. The
students must be the authority themselves for whatever they turn in; I will give them
whatever aid they need, but after all, it is their writing.

        Which leads me to my next point: students should be responsible for their own
learning. As I‘ve hinted above, I cannot do the learning for them. However, I want to
encourage them, to the best of my ability, by giving them the tools to become life-long
learners and discerners. An illustration: in the new course I designed and taught last fall,
ENG 103—Writing in the Disciplines, the first essay of the semester required the
students to make scientific observations, followed by a literature review to back up the
observations, then their conclusions. With this assignment alone, they learned to observe
closely, perform library research to learn more about a topic, and finally to make
educated discernments. These skills were carried over into the other three essays (Social
Science, Humanities and Reflection/ Process) that they had to write that semester. And I
believe that these skills will translate to not only the rest of their college careers, but also
into their lives. Several students at the end of the semester commented in their reflection
essays that they had actually used these skills in other courses. One student wrote: [I]n
my Social Work class, one essay required me to analyze my life and the effectiveness of
my social network. I was able to pick out subjective observations, and edit/revise to
make objective observations. I had to step back and look at my life through the eyes of
someone else to realize when my own hermeneutic and feelings were influencing the way
I saw some relationships.

        I was elated to see that the class had responded so well to the course assignments
and to their own responsibility for learning. But more than that, I was ecstatic when I was
given compliments by professors in other disciplines saying how grand the new course is
and that they had seen the improvement in the students‘ writing.

        As a teacher, I try to read books and articles that'll strengthen my teaching and I
regularly attend conferences in my fields of interest. I continually try new teaching
methods, looking for those that work best and then refining others. However, I also do
not teach the same class the same way each time because the needs and/or issues of the
students change. For instance, one class of students may be particularly advanced in their
argument skills; therefore, we cover less of the basics and I make the assignments more
challenging. Or, with our country‘s involvement in the Iraq, last Spring students in my
Rhetoric class often used the issue of the ethics of war as the topic for essays.

       Teaching is not just a career for me; it is a passion. It took me a long time to
discover what I wanted to be when I grew up—I was 35—but it was well worth the wait.



                                            Page 32
And while I do enjoy my own writing, the professional development, the academic
camaraderie, even to some extent (dare I say) the committee work, I always remember
why I‘m here: to help others learn.


                             Timothy M. Thibodeau, PhD
                                 Professor of History
                             Nazareth College of Rochester

                                  The Life of the Mind

         The founders of the great medieval universities of Europe always defined the
academic life as a communal enterprise that was in a constant state of dialogue with the
great ideas of antiquity as they were applied to the present. It is no wonder that they
declared that universities are made of people, not buildings. The physical space that we
occupy in a particular time and place is merely the setting for the real work of education:
teachers and students searching for the truth; working through the great ideas and great
books of the past; expanding the frontiers of the received body of knowledge; and daring
to critique the ideas and texts of both the past and present as we strive to create our own
intellectual legacy for future generations. In spite of the enormous achievements in
information technology and the electronic wizardry that can be brought to the classroom,
the life of the mind is at its core a very human enterprise. As the scholars of the first
universities understood, we not only dispense knowledge as educators but kindle, as Plato
said, the flame of learning; we develop deep and lasting habits of mind; we discover the
inherent joy of learning; and equally important, we develop deep, loving and enduring
friendships with kindred spirits.


                               Monica Weis, SSJ, PhD
                                 Professor of English
                             Nazareth College of Rochester

                                   Personal Statement

        What gets me up in the morning is a combination of passion and precision. I am
quite sure the source of these driving forces comes from my ten years of teaching junior
high school where students were malleable, capable, and daily unpredictable. As a
neophyte teacher, I quickly learned how to ―seduce‖ students into learning; in return,
students discovered that learning could be fun. From my graduate study and dissertation
on neurological conditions that foster insight, I verified my pedagogical instincts. Now
almost thirty years later, three principles continue to guide my interaction with college
students: engagement with a problem, playfulness, and investment of time.

       Someone visiting my classroom might label me an environmentalist—arranging
the physical space as well as creating a safe haven for making connections and taking
risks. My passion wants students to immerse themselves in the subject matter, not



                                          Page 33
because the subject matter itself is sacred, but because reflective learning is. Students
learn best when they are invited to engage in problem-solving, when they experience new
knowledge inductively, when they have the freedom to play with ideas, speculate, confer,
modify, amend, question, and reconfigure initial thought. My precision wants students to
spend time in critical thinking and deep reflection not only about the course material, but
also about the process of knowing, and their own style of learning. Class periods are
generally balanced with time for grappling with open-ended questions--individually and
collaboratively--some mini-teaching from me or a prepared group of students, and
opportunity for reinforcing skills and refining insight. This recursive movement between
passion and precision, exuberant creativity and reflective metacognition, helps students
claim their identity. Furthermore, I want them to explore the ramifications of their
conclusions and decisions, their impact on the larger human and non-human community.
My goal is to ignite energy around the process of learning and help students surprise
themselves into new ways of knowing and belonging. I believe Donald Murray and
Bernard Lonergan who have demonstrated surprise begets surprise, insight begets insight.

        As a literature teacher, this means inviting students to allow their own experience
to collide with a text in order to construct meaning, and then to test out that meaning
within the larger reality we share. As a writing teacher, this means creating assignments
that require students to identify and analyze their Purpose, Audience, Subject Matter, and
Self (P-A-S-S), give and listen to peer comments, and receive appropriate coaching from
me. Through the invitation to re-envision writing, students hone their thinking and
writing prowess until—if I have used my conferencing skills well—they are satisfied
with the final results.

        In classes that demand mastery of theory, concepts, and data, I encourage students
to find a study-buddy. Even then mastery of certain skills or concepts that are
prerequisites for professional success can come any time during the semester, not
necessarily by the mid-term examination. Consequently, I offer students the opportunity
for make-up exams and conference time during which they explain to me why they made
mistakes, what they now know, and what is still confusing. My penchant for offering
study guides and my famous ―Fixin‘ to Face the Final‖ handout encourages students to
engage in synthetic thinking about the course, luring them, I believe, to higher levels of
engagement.

        While professors do not often see the fruit of their teaching, my years of working
with English Education students have provided ample opportunity to witness growth and
blossoming in pre-service teachers and meet them years later at professional meetings. I
am pleased every time I meet a successful teacher who remembers my class in grammar
and composition theory or the methods class as the toughest course s/he ever took, yet the
most valuable. I am pleased because I believe that students in my classes learn more than
course material. They learn various ways to break open a text; they learn rhetorical
strategies to enable success in multiple writing situations; and they see pedagogical
theory and praxis modeled in ways they can use in their classrooms. Perhaps most
important, they catch on to the Promethean task before them: bringing fire to the next
generation of learners.



                                          Page 34
                                   Carl Wiens, PhD
                             Associate Professor of Music
                             Nazareth College of Rochester

                                   Teaching Philosophy

        The instruction of young adults is an important vocation, one that I take seriously
and enjoy greatly. I am committed to providing an environment where individuals can
achieve their full potential. I encourage excellence in all aspects of learning; I strive to
provide the students with the tools to become competent musicians as well as well-
rounded and informed individuals. To this end, I offer students a setting that is
conducive to learning: one where questioning, the sharing of information and ideas is
valued and encouraged, where tolerance and mutual respect for our similarities and
differences prevail.

        To aid students in their educational endeavors, I draw upon my own experiences
as a composer, music theorist, researcher, and teacher to foster students‘ artistic
awareness, perspective, and creativity. I encourage students to pursue further exploration
independently, while always offering my guidance. I find my own research into the
interdisciplinary and intertextual nature of music to be a great means of illustrating
concepts. For example, when discussing the importance of cadence as a form defining
event in classical music, I draw the parallel to jazz and the importance of the turnaround
in pieces based on blues.

        My teaching approach involves learning through a challenging ―hands-on‖ study
of music. Each course begins with a clear presentation of the goals and expectations.
Courses center on a series of well thought-out lessons and lectures. I use a variety of
teaching strategies including the traditional lecture, assigned readings, discussions,
projects, and computer-aided instruction where warranted, while using assignments and
examinations as needed. The studies expose the students to the compositions of the
masters and to important critical work. For example, when teaching about the interaction
between sonata form and harmony, I illustrate these relationships with works such as the
first movement of Beethoven‘s Piano Sonata in G Major, Op. 49, no. 2. In this piece,
Beethoven uses harmony as the means to clearly delineate the boundaries of sonata form.
The brevity of this movement allows students to easily grasp these concepts, which in
turn become templates for further, more involved explorations of sonata form.
While serving multiple purposes, evaluating students‘ progress is achieved on a
continuous basis and in numerous ways. Always knowing their strengths and weaknesses
helps me define how my teaching strategies answer their needs and also guides me in the
choice of, and adjustments to, my lesson plans. Along with the students‘ needs, the
course content and class setting must be considered when selecting effective methods of
evaluation. For example, in courses that emphasize writing skills, I use a blend of higher-
stakes (e.g., examinations) and lower-stakes grading (e.g., weekly assignments and
quizzes). Additionally, I allow students to resubmit harmony and voice-leading
exercises. It enables and motivates students to go over their errors, consider my
suggestions, and incorporate them into their revisions, similar to submitting a draft of a



                                           Page 35
paper for comments. In adopting this approach, I have found that students are not only
less inhibited by the grading process, but also develop a better understanding of the
concepts as they are given the opportunity to individually improve their writing skills
under my guidance.

        Looking at the larger picture, I strongly believe that music theory comprises a
cornerstone of the undergraduate and graduate curriculum, having both immediate and
long-term benefits for the students—performers, composers, and academics alike. Music
theory teaches students about the language of music, how to listen to music, and how to
develop a critical, educated ear. It demonstrates how performances are invested with a
sense of harmonic goals, and how a sensitivity to voice leading can communicate the
deeper fabric conceived by the composer. As a result, students acquire a greater
appreciation for the composer‘s use of form, planning, and invention, while developing
their aural intuitions. In the long term, I believe that music theory instruction serves as a
springboard for a life in music. It encourages students to add to their knowledge and
enjoyment of these great works, and explore other genres and types of music, such as
jazz, contemporary, and world music.




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