Advice for New Faculty Teaching Undergraduate Science
This article contains advice for our colleagues and is a product of experience gained in our first years of teaching undergraduate chemistry at the university level. Our intent is to help new professors conserve time in performing the administrative tasks of undergraduate lecture courses so that they can devote more attention to developing teaching methods and course content. Our hope is that future faculty can use this advice to avoid burning out in the first year and to remain dedicated to teaching. We have made the following conclusions: Teaching the same courses repeatedly is worthwhile; Bundling tasks into blocks helps keep you focused and ultimately saves time; Keeping files of recommendation letters and responses to common questions helps avoid "reinventing the wheel"; Clearly stating and documenting course policies provides a guide when dealing with infractions; Using a rubric for homework and exams simplifies the grading process; Making full use of university resources (teaching assistants, staff, and computer software) also saves time and frees you for other activities. We have found these principles simplify the administrative tasks of teaching and also allow us to maintain high standards in the classroom.