Thursday, July 14, 2011

Advice to new faculty

Earlier this summer, the Center for Faculty Development asked assistant professors to provide advice for their incoming tenure-track faculty colleagues. The questions they were asked to respond to touched on numerous topics relevant to a new faculty member, including teaching Metro State students, succeeding with a 12-credit hour teaching load, balancing academic and family/personal life, and fitting into one's department.

You can read all of the unfiltered responses in the mentoring area of the Center for Faculty Development Web site. Some highlights include:

It is important to meet students where they are yet to set clear expectations and guidelines for the course.

Let your curriculum inform your scholarly activities and your service so you are not creating new work all of the time.

Be very organized in planning the semester so you don't end up trying to grade projects and papers all at the same time. Stagger the scheduling for exams as well.

Learn to set limits. One weekend day each week is a "sacred" day when I won't work. There is no way you can be at an A+ level at everything that is required of a faculty member. Set priorities, and if you have perfectionist tendencies, let them go!
We will be sharing more highlights in a handout at orientation for new faculty. We expect that the new faculty will appreciate hearing from the lived experience of their (not so) senior colleagues. Many, many thanks to all who contributed their advice.