Tips for New Faculty, from Faculty

During July 2022, we asked our faculty and staff followers on Facebook to share their tips for incoming new faculty. Here’s the wisdom they want to impart. Thank you to everyone who contributed (especially Duane Dunston, who submitted no less than 26 tips, which we can only sample here)!

Make Connections

Listen to and ask questions of your amazing colleagues, as they are a wealth of valuable information. Become a part of this amazing group…who span the US, Ireland, and Canada.

Stephen Robinson, Director of Champlain College Dublin (at Champlain since 2008)

Talk to other faculty. There’s a wealth of knowledge.

Jen Berger, Instructor in the Core Division (at Champlain since 2018)

Make friends with your Ops Manager. Buy them lunch or coffee [if you can]. Ops Managers love chocolates…

Steve Wehmeyer, Associate Professor in the Core Division (at Champlain since 2011)

Meet your division Operations Manager and ask as many questions as you need. There are no “dumb questions”!!!

Linda Goodrum, Operations Manager in the Core Division (at Champlain since 2012)

Get to know your Ops Manager!

Jean-Marie Severance, Operations Manager in the Division of Education and Human Studies (at Champlain since 2007)

Introduce yourself to your Operations Manager, then the CLT, then senior faculty. Listen to the advice from all of them. Ask to observe senior faculty teach. Never stop learning to be a better educator…and have fun!

Scott Baker, Professor in the Stiller School of Business (at Champlain since 2005)

You can see a common theme here! Not only can Ops Managers help with a huge array of questions, if they don’t know the answer, they always know who to go to.

Understand Students’ Needs

Some select wisdom (lightly edited) from Duane Dunston, Associate Professor of Cybersecurity, whose praxis and doctoral research are focused on structuring learning experiences to facilitate students’ cognitive and skill growth:

  • Make use of Canvas. Students depend on it for helping to keep track of assignments.
  • Don’t have the “no students make an A in my class” mentality. You are here to help students learn, not stand out quantitatively.
  • Just because you excelled in college doesn’t mean all students will. Some have other stressors: family, finances, mental health, their support system is new or many miles away. Please remember that your course isn’t the only one they have.
  • Ensure all assignments have a purpose and help them understand that purpose. By doing so, they will eventually begin to do that themselves. Ensure any reading material is covered and not for the sake of reading.
  • Provide actionable feedback on assignments in the context of your rubric, so they understand what the feedback means.

Use your Resources

Use all of the support that Champlain provides… including CLT and your fellow faculty members!

Nicole Morris, Professor of Accounting and Interim Assistant Dean of Stiller School of Business (at Champlain since 2008)

Don’t be shy! Ask questions and more questions — if you need help, please ASK!

Rowshan Nemazee, Associate Professor in the Core Division

Make friends with the CLT!

Amy Howe, Instructor in the Core Division (at Champlain since 2019)

Plan ahead! (With help from the CLT)

Barrie Silver, instructor in Communications and Marketing (at Champlain since 2022)

Spend some time at the CLT and attend some workshops.

Ellen Zeman, Director of Assessment, Curriculum, and Accreditation (at Champlain since 2004)

There is no stigma on going to the CLT. You are here for students, and they will appreciate it for helping them learn. You have nothing to prove to anyone.

Duane Dunston, Associate Professor of Cybersecurity (at Champlain since 2012)

The Details

Have a solid parking strategy so you don’t have to run to class. Speaking of running, be sure to “warm up” your voice, body, and energy level before class. Teaching is a craft!

Rebecca Mills, Director of Learning and Teaching (at Champlain since 2017)
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