Multiple Teachers

This semester I’m teaching a course with two other instructors. It is a unique and interesting course blending all of the fine arts into a collection of humanities credits through multiple instructors. I just recently taught during our first class period. As with most first days it was spent on getting to know one another, getting familiar with the syllabus, and laying out the groundrules for the semester. Pretty standard stuff. One of the difficult things for me, as an instructor, was sharing the floor with other people. My teaching style is one based on my own personality creating a unique atmosphere that remains largely unchanged (there are pretty solid borders) throughout each day (and the entire semester). My own difficulites were nothing compared to what the students must have been going through.

I’ll admit it: I can’t imagine taking a class from three instructors. I’ve never taken one and I can’t really imagine it from the students’ perspectives. They will have a challenging task before them: Three different teachings styles, three similar (but somewhat different) expectations for classwork, and ultimately three different expectations for what is important to remember for the test. Yikes! While this seems difficult (and it require mental shifts on the students’ parts) the instructors are certainly aware of these difficulties.

There is this crazy thing about instructors: they perceive many of the issues in the courses they teach. Not all of course (no one is perfect) but many. One of the benefits of having three instructors is having three people realizing the issues and doing their best to diminish the damaging effects. Our students will receive study guides, handouts, and other materials to help them keep the various expectations close at hand (and always in mind). The arts are a wonderful subject. Three teachers somewhat mimics the expectations of art: multiple perspectives. Overall this is a benefit. I hope the students realize that by semester’s end.

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