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Is Your Classroom Like Something of a Bermuda Triangle? Wait It Out

Lisa S. Tsay Saginaw Valley State University I used to ask my students, “Do you have questions?” or “Any questions?” My students were quiet, unresponsive–as if I cast a magic spell on them and turned the class it into something of a Bermuda Triangle. All the stuff I taught went into that mysterious area and nothing came back out. Sometimes the spell works more than it is intended: the classroom was not only as silent as a vacuum but also produced blank stares on students’ faces. It was not the sound of silence that really petrifies me, but rather those blank stares. Those stares are detrimental…well… to my feelings of competence as an instructor.  Their blank stares seem to imply un

A Dialogical Statement of Teaching Philosophy

Jeffrey W. Murray Assistant Professor, Department of Focused Inquiry - Virginia Commonwealth University As I began compiling materials to apply for promotion last summer, I thought to include a statement of teaching philosophy. I began by inspecting the statement I’d written when applying for my current position almost ten years ago. To my mild horror, it seemed not only out-of-date with respect to my evolved approach to teaching, but alternatively vague and trite. What exactly is my teaching philosophy? After pondering this question, I was struck by the fact that I didn’t really have one. I was asking the wrong question. For the last ten years, I have collaborated closely with collea

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