However divergent our disciplines or courses, graduate instructors often find themselves pondering similar questions, starting with the basics. What readings will I assign? How can I get students to talk? What do I do when students arrive late, leave early, or text in class? Who took my whiteboard markers, and why is my classroom always freezing?
Then there are the deeper cuts, as instructors gain experience and find themselves grappling with those perennial pedagogical quandaries, like, how will I assess participation? Or, help, I have to teach an 8am class! Or, help I have to teach any class while also writing my dissertation! Or, just how sarcastic am I allowed to be when the umpteenth student emails me after an absence to ask, “Did I miss anything important today?”
Our new advice column, Ask Andy, aims to solicit and respond to precisely these kinds of questions. Each month, our grizzled TLC Staff Columnists (none of whom are actually named Andy) will field teaching-related queries from the CUNY community, and offer suggestions, guidance, good humor, and occasionally, illustrative gifs.