teaching and learning challenges

Combating Late-Semester Blues

In Rasselas, Samuel Johnson’s philosopher Imlac offers the following bleak assessment of life: “Human life is every where [sic] a state in which much is to be endured, and little to be enjoyed” ([1759] 1999, 31). Having been a teacher for more than 30 years,

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What Makes Teaching Hard?

There are a myriad of answers to this seemingly simple question. Grading probably comes to mind for many faculty, but there is certainly more to the challenge of teaching than that. Some teachers blame students they deem ill-prepared, unmotivated, ungrateful, uncooperative, and entitled. Others might

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Are We Too Jaded for Gratitude?

Hey, you. Yes, you. When was the last time you told your students, colleagues, or (gulp) administrators how thankful you were for them? Or jotted down a gratitude list as you went about your workday?

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The Mother Is in the Classroom: Transference in Teaching

Google “calling the teacher ‘mom,’” and you will find a deluge of pained or embarrassed faces across various memes. This shared humor is a prime example of transference. Transference is a fundamental principle of psychotherapy, which occurs when a person unconsciously projects attitudes and

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Capitalizing on Motivation during the Semester

A recent TED conversation (2023) with motivation researcher Ayelet Fischbach on overcoming procrastination got me thinking about the ebbs and flows of each semester and taking advantage of the key moments during the term to help with student success. This came to life for

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Teaching in a Polarized Classroom

I teach psychology to students who are largely from rural and low-income areas. In my courses we discuss a wide range of topics that have the potential for controversy, such as sexuality and gender, best parenting practices, racism and implicit bias, and the neuroscientific

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