Advice to New Teachers: Lie, Cheat, and Steal

Credit: iStock.com/Carlos Barquero Perez
Credit: iStock.com/Carlos Barquero Perez

Author note: This essay is meant to be a bit tongue in cheek. Just to be clear: I am not advocating for academic dishonesty.

Years ago, I was asked to address the new faculty at my institution and give advice about becoming good teachers. Teaching for the first time is stressful and overwhelming. You have no course schedule, no notes, no slides, no examples or activities. Everything is a calculated guess about what students will find manageable, accessible, and, hopefully, interesting. You have the potential to look both foolish and incompetent.

I gave these beginning teachers three pieces of advice for surviving the first year of teaching: lie, cheat, and steal. Let’s take each one in turn and discuss what I meant.


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