The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: November 9, 2018

"You can't think yourself out of a writing block; you have to write yourself out of a thinking block." ~John RogersJohn Rogers said, “You can’t think yourself out of a writing block; you have to write yourself out of a thinking block.” The ways in which we approach our academic writing impact the mindset that drives progress and success. In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we have found several suggestions of ways to improve your writing practice that may just get you through your next “thinking block”.

First, we found examples of habits leading to writing productivity and satisfaction, and a connection between teaching, research, and writing. [Read more…]

How to balance the demands of teaching and working on your thesis

Work Life BalanceIf you asked most people about the demands of a teaching position, they’d quickly agree that time extends beyond the classroom hours with grading and student interaction turning most part-time roles into full-time commitments of time and full-time roles into, well, more. Ask the same about the time involved in getting a graduate degree, especially during the research-intensive processes of a thesis or dissertation, and in most cases, you’ll hear of it being a full-time job unto itself.

So how can one person balance the demands of these two time-intensive efforts? For the answer, we sought the opinions of several TAA members, and as a bonus have included some additional resources to assist you if you are currently in or considering such a balancing act yourself. [Read more…]

Do’s and don’ts for teaching from your own textbook

Q: “I’m interested in some do’s and don’ts related to teaching a college course using one’s own textbook. I’m used to expanding on material and offer things “left out” of others’ texts. Using my own, I find myself ‘teaching from the text’ more than I’d like (or more than what is interesting to the students). Any advice from those of you who have dealt with this?”

 A: Rebecca Plante, PhD, Assistant Professor & Chair, Personnel Committee, Sociology Department, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY:

“I teach with two of my texts – I have to, as long as they’re in print, or it would look really bad (‘You don’t use your own books!!?’). My editor would have a hard time working with me if I refused to assign the text I wrote on sex…in my sexualities class. If I don’t believe in the text enough to adopt it, why would anyone else? [Read more…]