How To Build A Class

This piece was written by Dr. Mark Zeigler in a keynote speech at the Florida Communication Association. If you want to be in higher education long term, it would be wise to apply his caring advice.

If you want respect, command it, don’t demand it. If you want your students to be trustworthy, then trust them. If you want your students to be interested in the material, then be interesting…

If you want them to work together, then work with them first. If you want them to write well, then teach them how. If you want them to apply theories, then use examples in your teaching…

If you want them to attend class, then give them a reason to be there. If you want them to attend class, then give a reason for them to be there. If you want them to be cynical and rude, then punish them for all transgressions…

If you want them to love learning and enjoy their education, then you enjoy your teaching. If you want them to value research, then include them in your projects and show them how it works…

If you show interest in them, they will be interested in you. If you don’t want them to cheat, then don’t give cheating opportunities. If you want them to make good presentations, be sure you give good lectures…

If you want them to pursue graduate school, tell them they’d be a great graduate student and help them search for schools to apply. If you want good teaching evaluations, be fair, clear, creative, interesting, prepared, approachable, have a sense of humor, and don’t take yourself too seriously…

If you want them to have a perspective, then distinguish between major episodes and minor events. If you want a great academic career, learn how to teach now. Best advice: Grandfather… “I bet they teach you more than you teach them.” Sometimes you just have to get out of the way and let it happen.

Mark Ziegler.