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Practical information, opinions and ideas for higher education.
Are you a good teacher? How do you know?
- Do more than a few of your students get jobs in your field?
- Do those of your students who desire a graduate education get into graduate school?
- Do students in your courses leave each course with the knowledge and skills you taught and you wanted them to learn? How do you prove that?
- Do students who have taken your courses often ask you questions or point out interesting things about your courses weeks or months or years after they have completed those courses?
- Do students talk about the courses you teach rather than just you as a teacher?
- Would most students attend your courses if there were no attendance requirement?
- Are you, as a teacher, constantly evaluating old and new methods of instruction and determining through practice what actually works?
- As a teacher, do you regularly study teaching?
The merits of good and great teachers are ultimately not determined by student evaluations or by teaching awards. The merits are determined by the things students do after they take your courses, and by your constant attempts to make yourself a better teacher.
For the last five years of your career, you should be the best teacher you ever were.