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Happy Teaching: July 2019

Updated: Aug 12, 2019

Welcome to Happy Teaching, a subscription-based newsletter from Effective & Efficient Teaching. This month:

  • Encouragement to think about course prep sooner than later

  • “Joy” burst teaching suggestions

  • Resources

  • Info and dates for upcoming member’s only course prep webinars

I am in full summer joy mode: I just submitted a grant application—while abroad—including a Belgian beer-grimage—spending time with old & new friends along the way!!!


As I sit here contemplating (rather than the intended “doing”) Fall course prep, I am asking: How can I effectively and efficiently build joy into my Fall teaching?


Regardless of if your teaching is super rewarding or pure drudgery or a moving target someplace in between —who wouldn’t like to add bursts of pure joy to their teaching experiences?


The summer usually wraps up too quickly and most of us plunge into course prep at the last minute. This leaves enough time to change the syllabus dates, maybe update a few readings, but not much else.


I encourage you to start thinking about Fall course prep now when you might have more time to dream about and build in how you’d like to experience your class.


It is completely ok if this looks different for you, but I experience teaching joy when:

  • It is clear students have learned a new concept, idea, theory or have a eureka/lightbulb moment

  • There is less grading, grading is simple, and/or students are not frustrated about grades

  • Students actively connect the course material to real world examples

  • There is no or low course prep for a class session and it goes great (or at least the world does not implode!)

To increase the odds ever in my favor that I will experience the bursts of teaching joy above, I will course prep to intentionally, efficiently & effectively:

  • Include fun ways for students to show their new learning/eureka moments

  • Reduce grading and amplify learning/grading criteria

  • Insert opportunities for students to share real world-connections with the course material

  • Set up several no/low course prep days but still lotsa student learning and engagement

What does a burst of teaching joy look like for you? How might you easily and quickly add it to this Fall’s teaching? Dream a bit while you have time to play around with the possibilities of the upcoming term’s teaching. Keep an open mind and plan to incorporate just one change that might increase your teaching joy. :)


The resources this month help you think about ways you might add bursts of faculty joy to your teaching this fall—with minimal effort and time and increased student learning. Please note, some of the resources are intended for younger students but can be easily adapted (or enjoyed as) is by college students:










Upcoming Events


Happy Teaching: July Live Q&A

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

11am - 12pm ET

A members only live presentation and Q&A taking your questions on Fall course prep. Please fill out this form to RSVP.


Erase Course Evaluation Dread

Mondays starting August 5, 2019

A 4 week program to help you understand and develop strategies to address your student evaluations. Visit this page for more information.


Happy Teaching: August Live Q&A

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

11am - 12pm ET

A members only live presentation and Q&A taking your questions on Fall course prep. Please fill out this form to RSVP.


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