Tag Archives: first week


From the Archives: Starting a New Semester

seminar table

Whether you’ve already been in the classroom for a week or two, or will be heading back in September, the ProfHacker archives are full of helpful tips to start the new semester off right. Here I mention several of our back to school roundup posts, highlighting just a few of the many links each contains.

The posts linked in From the Archives: Creating Syllabi (2014) focus on the basics of syllabus creation, including technology policies, accessibility, syllabus design, and our ever-popular 11 Fa…


From the Archives: the First Week of the Academic Term

Classroom The ProfHacker archives are full of useful ideas, tools, and advice relevant to the first week of a new academic semester or quarter. In addition to the posts highlighted below, you may want to check out some previous From the Archives posts on New Semester, New Year, Creating Syllabi, and Grading.

Teaching: the first week

  • Brian’s So Now You’re A Teacher is aimed at new instructors, but contains useful reminders for anyone heading back into the classroom.

  • The ProfHacker team assembled a li…


Five Emotions of the First Week

flowerThe first week of the fall semester is an especially charged time. There are all the practical, logistical, technological things to deal with, like changed classroom assignments, projector equipment malfunctions, and photocopier breakdowns. You might not have gotten enough sleep, and your routine just changed. But in addition, almost everyone’s emotional reactions are a bit amplified right now. Some of the emotions I’ve observed or experienced, both as a student and as faculty, during the first …


Joy in the Profession

6/”>“The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world's joy.” ~Henry Ward Beecher” />

Classes on my campus started August 24, and we had our first intro physics lab session the following week. In a physics class for non-majors, the first few weeks can often be disorienting as the students are adjusting the study styles that work for them in other fields to a new subject. It’s not uncommon for me to sense a lot of frustration and concern from them. And it’s not uncommon for me to feel a little overwhelmed by helping everyone get oriented.

The lab we were doing was relativ…


Five Reasons the First Week Is Not Like the Rest

If you’ve taught before, or even just been a student before (which I trust all ProfHacker readers have been), you know that the first week of the semester (or quarter) is not like the rest of the weeks to come. This means that, however your first week played out, it is not predictive of the next three months.

But it’s easy to forget that you’ve been through the first week of the term before. Maybe a better one, maybe a worse one. But you got through it and probably don’t even remember it all th…


The First Week: Expectations and Reality

The quad

Today was my first day of classes for the semester. I teach in the mornings, which I love, because it gets the day off to a good start, and this semester I’m teaching courses that are especial favorites.

And a good time was had by all today, despite the fact that I have no electricity at home, and was hence woefully undercaffeinated (and made one epic gaffe!). But it was also a useful object lesson in bracketing assumptions about students. Here are five things I (again) learned that you can’t …