Saturday, December 1, 2007


Good work, team. All kinds of fantastic advice about teaching interviews left in comments. I'll leave it to PGS to write a post distilling out the most useful advice. He's responsible like that. Me, not so much. I'd rather draw your attention to the totally useless but fucking hilarious advice.

Here are Undetached Rabbit Parts' strategies for dealing with the super lame demand to spout new platitudes about the value of a liberal arts education:

Strategy One:
Interviewer: "What are the liberal arts to you?"
Me: "Pass."

Strategy Two:
Interviewer: "What are the liberal arts to you?"
Me: "What are the liberal arts to you?" (I throw their own question back at them. Now all of the pressure is on them.)

Strategy Three:
Interviewer: "What are the liberal arts to you?"
Me: (I excuse myself from the table and set off the fire alarm.)

Strategy Four:
Interviewer: "What are the liberal arts to you?"
Me: "English, philosophy, russian..." (I just list various liberal arts.)


Heh. Nice. And here's Blind Teaching the Blind on how absurd it is that we're expected to have all these insightful and original opinions about pedagogy when not one of us has any formal training in how to teach:

Isn't this a bit like expecting me to provide innovative military tactics when my background is playing RISK and watching war movies?

I don't know about you all, but my teaching philosophy is cribbed entirely from Mr. Holland's Opus.


Anonymous said...

And how many of the questioners actually have (1) meaningful pedagogical insights or (2) use pedagogically sound strategies in THEIR teaching?

Anonymous said...

I don't remember anything about showing my thong in Mr Hollands Opus. Is there an unrated directors cut out there somewhere?

Anonymous said...

I got my teaching philosophy from Welcome Back Kotter reruns.

James Rocha said...

I got my teaching philosophy from Stand and Deliver: if my students do too well, I assume they were cheating and automatically fail them all.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, at one of my fornmer institutions james's approach to detecting plagiarism actually worked for me! But then, that was a place where so many of my students plagiarised (around 20% or more per class of 60) that I had a form "I have detected plagiarism" letter to send to the Dean.

This worked well, until the Dean stopped responding to my letters... Turned out he'd been busted for using "university" equipment to duplicate his extensive collection of child porn. and had been sent to chokey.

The reason why I use scare quotes around the qord "university" above is probably obvious.

Anonymous said...

"qord" = "word". Dammit!

Anonymous said...

Once, when asked what my teaching philosophy was, I said "I'm for it." I didn't get the job.