Making History

By Stacey Decker — July 16, 2007 1 min read
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Graduate students in The College of New Jersey’s education program are gathering valuable advice from experienced teachers in a novel way—by preserving their voices. Students compiled oral histories of veteran teachers who offered advice about conquering first-year teaching woes. On Artistry, Equanimity, & Power, Tabitha, an assistant professor at the college, posted the following excerpts as recorded by the students:

Most importantly, [veteran teacher] Anthony feels that whatever happens during the day, ends that day. If you have a bad day with a class, the worst thing to say to them the next day is, ‘We are not going to have a day like yesterday!’ He advises a beginning teacher to go on from that point and don’t look back.”
[Mrs. Smith said,] ‘I heard in college that if you try to be your students’ friend they will eat you alive. I became too strict as a result. I gave too much homework and I wasn’t lenient enough.’”
She explained that she learned two things rather quickly; first, positive reinforcement will give students confidence and help their behavior and second, perhaps most important, is to remain consistent.”

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Blogboard blog.