The most important thing for me when I’m blogging is that I’m not regurgitating the same old stuff. It’s hard to find new topics and blogging about something that’s never been covered before is a virtual impossibility but using a unique angle on your topics will help!
Controversial topics, although not always comfortable to use, are great to write about because they are generally read by more people.
I’m waffling now … :/
Thanks for the post. I am now working my way through the Julia Childs cookbook blog!!]]>
I think rituals are good because they help both students and tutors know what to expect and where to go next. When I first started teaching, I found that I didn’t begin classes as well as I could and if they got off on the wrong note..they were often “lost” somehow already.
So this is what I did informally. Before class I often “hid” behind my notes or the desk/lectern instead of talking to students (when I talked to them it started the class off in a much more relaxed, friendly mode of course and made me seem much more accessible). I had to learn to make an effort to put those things aside and sit with students and ask them about themselves, how their studies were going and do that with different students each time.
I remembered that for much of my undergraduate degree especially I felt unseen by my lecturers and sometimes would have appreciated a friendly smile and kind question. Then I would say, “Right, 1 minute, to introduce yourself (or whatever, usually a brief question or exercise) to the person next to you. Then prepare yourself for our glorious learning adventure today. It is going to be glorious, right? If I or the topic isn’t glorious enough for you, feel free to contribute glorious-ness.”
Okay, yes, I am prone to overstatement and this may be setting the bar a little high. But, it was said with humour (well, I found myself funny) and I would praise contributions and thank students for their gloriousness etc. I felt it communicated that I would be teaching informally and with humour but also expect students to contribute and would have high expectations of them. This, of course, would not work for everyone. But, I learned to start off in this way and it worked for me. Students also knew what to expect. It worked very well for some, others not I suppose. I also adjusted this over time, became not quite so over-the-top with this, and based on the discipline I was teaching in and for different countries.]]>