Teaching as an adjunct can be a lot of fun. It is also challenging. As I have encountered a number of situations, I realize such a blog can be helpful, both to me and to others.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Know Your Resources

It is amazing how much easier teaching is when you know what resources you have available and you are familiar with them.

Over the years I have learned to appreciate the resources. First, I learned which chapters had an appendix after them. There is one about visual aids and an early one about delivering the icebreaker (the first speech). Looking over these appendices, I learned that it quite effectively covered information that I wanted to disseminate to the students. The appendix not only gives the information to the students, it helped me develop my lesson plan.

I also learned to appreciate the videotape the author of the textbook included. The tape has samples of each type of speech. It helps most students to see some of these speeches. We discuss and critique them together in class. The students are much more critical of these speeches than they are of each other, but that is fine.

The book also included video excerpts from student speeches to help illustrate points made in the textbook. Not every point needs an illustration and, honestly, not every illustration is great or effectively makes the point (at least in my opinion), but a number of them are good and I do use some of them.

The department also has a videotape of some of the greatest political speeches ever given. This too is available to the faculty and can help to illustrate various points.

All of these materials are items I have used. They have helped me be more effective. It is amazing how much more you can get done in class when you know what is available to you and you go ahead and use it.