New Years CatHappy New Semester to everyone! I don’t know about all of you, but the extra week we got this year before the semester started made a ton of difference for me. SO MUCH TIME. The Spring feels at least somewhat less frantic than usual, but I haven’t yet checked email this morning, so my rosiness is subject to change.

As we begin another semester, your friendly neighborhood CETL staff would like to remind you that we’re here to help and support you in a variety of ways. Please feel free to use the CETL (Rasmussen 208) as work and collaboration space. ALL faculty and staff are welcome, unless the room is reserved for a meeting or workshop. We have computer stations, a Teaching and Learning Library, a Keurig, hot pot, and an assortment of fine teas, plus scintillating, witty conversation. Also new for this semester: we have doubled the number of Ph.D.’s on our CETL staff! (Congratulations, Dr. Good!)

We’re also beginning our programming for the Spring semester in the next few days. See the “Upcoming Events” section on the right-hand side of this page. We hope to see you at some or all of our workshops! In addition to our formal programming, the CETL staff is available for one-on-one or small-group training or consulting. Let us know how we can be of service to you by using the “Contact Us” link on the right side of the page.

This week’s links cluster around the theme of “getting started,” whether that involves a new class, student success, or our own research and writing.

First, a dose of perspective from The Guardian‘s “Academics Anonymous” column: we may complain about a lot of the things we encounter in academia (EXCEPT FOR THE MEETINGS. I LOOOOOVE MEETINGS), but there’s a lot to be grateful for, really.

One of the key challenges I face in my own scholarly work is balancing actual writing with the need to keep current in various areas of my field. If you struggle with this as well, Raul Pacheco-Vega has an excellent set of strategies he uses to “integrate reading into your writing workflow.” I found them really helpful, and think y’all might, too.

We’re excited to announce that our speaker for this May’s Summer Institute is James M. Lang, a nationally-known author and speaker on teaching and learning. His visit to GV will come right on the heels of the publication of his new book, some of the insights from which he’s sharing in a new series of articles in the Chronicle of Higher Ed. The first of them offers some great suggestions for using the first few minutes of class to shift student attention to you and your class material.

Finally, a really powerful column published over the break: “A Lecture from the Lectured” is a student-authored piece that has quite a bit to say to us, I think. Though the specific context here is the large lecture course, their pedagogical points are vitally important for all of us.

Happy New Year, and best wishes for the new semester!

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