Erika Romero

PhD Candidate and Education Blogger

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How to Communicate with Shy Students

We are more than halfway through the semester, so hopefully you’ve been able to get most of your students speaking up during class discussions. If you’ve done a Midterm Chat, then you also have a good idea of what students consider to be stronger and weaker elements of your teaching style. But, there are probably still some shy students that you are having trouble getting to speak up in class. They sit quietly in their seats and seem to be listening to your lectures and the class discussions, but you have no idea what their voices sound like. In today’s post, I go over three strategies for communicating with shy students, or those who are just too self-conscious to ask questions in class. If you’d rather see a video version of these strategies, that’s an option for you, too.

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3 Approaches to Creating a Holiday Themed Class Activity

October is here and Halloween falls on a school day this year. As the only holiday I’ve used as inspiration in my classroom, I thought this month would be the perfect time to share my ideas on how to create holiday themed class activities that are fun for your students while still being educational. It’s not about “wasting” the day celebrating a holiday. It’s about taking a break from the usual classroom routine and livening up things a bit (while still staying relevant to your course subject). Here are three ways you can bring your favorite holidays into the classroom.

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Group Project Activity: Multimodal Composition via Genre Remediations

Recently I’ve been spending most of my time thinking about my dissertation research and my academic job applications. My dissertation focuses heavily on multimodal texts and their new media adaptations. Many of the jobs I’m applying to have a focus on digital texts and composition, which fits well not just with my research, but also my teaching practices in writing and literature courses. I’ve already gone over a literary analysis group project that works well with my literature students. So today, I thought I’d break down a multimodal composition group project that has worked really well in my first year writing courses. If you’re looking for a creative group activity for your composition students that requires a good amount of research and analytical thinking, this post is for you.

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How to Deal with Problematic Student Behavior

We’re almost a month into the fall semester at this point. It’s likely that you’ve encountered some problematic student behavior that is really frustrating you. Or maybe you’re feeling constantly low-key angry in class, but can’t put your finger on what exactly is bothering you. In either case, today’s post is all about figuring out what student behavior is upsetting you and coming up with solutions that will decrease your negative feelings.

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How to Get Students to Read

The fall semester has started, and you’re teaching a course that’s heavy on reading assignments. How do you get your students to actually do the reading? Literature courses are often general education courses, which means that many of your students aren’t used to heavy reading loads and have little to no interest in doing all the reading you’ve assigned to them. So, in today’s post, I want to offer three student accountability strategies that can help motivate your students to read their assigned texts. While the strategies might be quite common, I go into detail on how I design these activities for best effect.

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Time Management & Healthy Habits for Graduate Students (Who Teach)

Now that I’ve finished my series on designing your course materials and activities for the first week of class, I’d like to take a moment to provide some advice for those of you wondering how time management for graduate students who teach is even possible with all you have to get done. Plus, how you can keep up healthy habits while so overloaded with work. I realize that not all new college instructors are grad students. But, teaching assistantships are quite common for PhD students and even some MA students, so I want to make sure to offer advice to this large body of new instructors. Earning a graduate degree while living the rest of your life can be a struggle if you don’t go in with the right mindset and a plan. And even after years as a grad student, I’ve still needed to improve my own time management skills and self-care habits year after year. In today’s post, I’ve provided some time management tips and healthy habit tips to help you start your academic year off on the right note. FYI: If you’re a grad student but aren’t teaching as part of your responsibilities, many of the tips in this post are more general to the grad school experience.

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