Advice about the teaching life

I read Jay Parini’s The Art of Teaching, and here are my favorite passages:

The main lesson I learned from this important teacher was that content matters more than anything else. You cannot fake the substance of a course, and must always teach from the center of your material, trusting the material to carry the class forward, to stimulate the students. (23)

Be willing to take risks, in your conversations with colleagues and students, in your writing and research. No good will come of shyness, laziness, timidity. (116)

It does not advance a student’s intellectual progress to offer lame praise and avoid the problems at hand. (121)

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