New Faculty Tips

Ali EsmaeiliNISOD asked Dr. Ali Esmaeili, Dean of Bachelor Programs and University Relations at South Texas College, a long-time NISOD Conference participant, and two-time NISOD Excellence Awards recipient, for his advice for new faculty teaching this summer.

Get to know your students. The first day of class is the most exciting day for students and their instructors. Get to know their first names, majors, academic backgrounds, and their interests.

Help students’ dreams become a reality. Students are coming to your class with hope. Instructors should to do their utmost to welcome students and foster their enthusiasm.

Create a comfortable learning environment for students. Reducing students’ stress makes for a better focus on learning and reduces worry about personal problems they may be facing.

Be flexible. Utilize several teaching techniques and methodologies to reach students with different learning styles. Not all students learn the same way.

Don’t work hard; work smart. Draw on the most resourceful students in your class to assist other students, and facilitate cooperative learning. Many times, the best tutor is a peer tutor.

Provide timely feedback to your students. Students need to know and understand their outcomes as students in order to augment their goals and study strategies.

Make things practical. Students learn better by understanding the underlying purpose of what they are learning.

Learn how to energize your students. Instructors must be well trained to understand when students are running out of energy and should be ready to motivate them appropriately.

Be a role model for your students. In order to demand responsibility, we need to display it.

Take notice of students who appear to be struggling in their personal lives. Let them know that you will support them with their academic pursuits, and offer to refer them to student services if they need further assistance.

Provide information about student support services to students. Do not attempt to deal with personal issues. It can get sticky, even legally liable. Be familiar with the services available and the persons to contact.

Be firm, but kind, with students who tend to be disruptive. Do not ridicule or embarrass a student before their peers. Pull the student aside after class, or make an appointment to see him/her privately in your office.

Let students know what the lesson of the day will be.

Try to ask as many questions as possible. When you ask a question, pause and call on a student to answer. Reinforce a correct answer with a positive statement to that student.

Conduct an assessment of learning at the end of each class. Conduct routine evaluations to determine students' understanding. When you finish the lesson, let your students know what will be covered during the next class period.

Build trust. Students respond best to faculty they can trust.

Dr. Esameili hopes these tips will help his fellow instructors! We wish you the best of luck as you prepare for the upcoming semester!


National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD)
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