Finding Time To Write

Like most faculty, I first started seriously writing while I was in graduate school. At the time, I was working full-time during the day and working on my studies in the evening. I did not have the luxury of dedicating huge portions of my day to writing. What I did have was an academic goal and a graduation deadline.

With this realization, I utilized two techniques that worked extremely well for me.

The first technique was mirco-writing during the week. I began writing whenever I could in increments of 5 to 15 minutes. I did this before going to work, during my coffee and lunch breaks, and before bed. Every spare, and sometimes odd, minute during the day counted towards my writing productivity. A sentence here and there eventually adds up to a paragraph and then a page. This meant that I took my notebook or laptop everywhere.

The second thing that helped me was to be intentional about writing and making it a part of my daily routine rather than a chore. I tend to do a lot of my writing early in the morning when my family is still asleep. I typically wake up at 4am, grab breakfast and then get to my computer to begin writing. Some may prefer to write in the evening, at a coffee shop, or library. The time and location do not matter as long as writing becomes a part of your daily schedule.

So start taking advantage of every spare minute and make writing a daily habit. You may be writing in sound-bites, which may feel different at first, but you will be writing and doing so regularly.

Well, I hope you found this article useful. If you did, I’d be grateful if you’d help spread the word by sharing this with friends or colleagues on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn.

Student Letters Of Recommendation

Student letters of recommendation

CC Images Courtesy of Jan Jaromír Horák

As we approach the end of a semester or academic year, we are sometimes flooded with requests from students to write them letters of recommendation. I’m usually honored to be asked to write these letters, and I usually look forward to working on them but only if they are warranted and meet the criteria that I establish for the students requesting the letter.

Screening and Managing Student Letters of Recommendation Requests

As faculty, our duties and responsibilities extend way beyond the classroom, and while we are typically compensated for working 40 hours a week, many of us actually invest 60-80 hours or more engaging in campus related work. Due to our limited time, we need to be selective about who we write recommendations letters for and when.  

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How To Prepare For A Teaching Demonstration At A Job Interview

CC Image Courtesy of Vandy CFT

CC Image Courtesy of Vandy CFT

This is the third in a series of articles to help you prepare for the teaching job interview. In the last two articles, I discussed how you can prepare for the Writing Assignment At Teaching Job Interview and how to Prepare For A Teaching Interview.

In this article, I’ll share four things to help you prepare for the teaching demonstration.

Teaching Demonstration

Most applicants applying for a teaching position seem have some teaching experience either as a Teaching Assistant (TA) in graduate school, or as an adjunct faculty, or as a trainer in the industry they’ve specialized in.  If you happen to be one of those, you’re fortunate enough to have some classroom or instructional experience. (more…)

Writing Assignment At A Teaching Job Interview

keepcalmandwriteonIn a previous article titled Preparing For A Teaching Interview, I discussed six things you can do to prepare for an interview. However, the interview itself is only one aspect of the hiring process at many colleges and universities.

Hiring committees for a full-time teaching position often require candidates to also complete a written assignment and a teaching demonstration.  At my college, we require candidates to do the writing assignment, job interview, and teaching demonstration on the same day. In some disciplines, candidates may also be required to perform a skills demonstration. In this article, I will discuss the writing assignment.

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Preparing For A Teaching Interview

teachinginterviewSo you’ve decided to teach! You’ve turned in your application, some secret group mulled over your application, CV, reference letters and decided to invite you for an interview.

Congratulations!

You are one step closer to becoming a professor, but don’t begin celebrating just yet. You still have some homework, lots of preparation, and a hiring committee to impress in person. In this article, I’ll share a few tips to help you better prepare for your teaching interview. (more…)