A bit of background before getting started

I’ve been thinking about writing a blog relating to higher education for a few years, so I gave it a try last year when I wrote regularly for one on my university’s Center for Teaching Excellence blog.  Essentially, I wanted to see if I could stick to a regular schedule, and I did.  Now that I’ve done that, I want to take another step up and try to keep up my own blog and see where that goes.  I’ve written pieces for The Chronicle of Higher Education, InsideHigherEd.com, Academe, and The Teaching Professor from time to time, but there are many things I write that don’t fit in any of those places.  This will be the place for those ideas.  I’ll still submit some of my writing to them when I think it’s appropriate, but most of what I write will end up here.  Here, then, are a few things you should know about me and the blog:

1.  The goal is to have a new post that I write every Monday morning.  I will update with shorter posts throughout the week, but that is when the new material will come out.

2.  I can only write from my limited perspective of the world of higher ed.  As such, you should know that I’m a full professor (tenured) at a primarily undergraduate university of 4500 students.  My focus will be on undergraduate education, and the only time I’ll talk about graduate-level work is when I talk about getting undergraduate students to that point.  Our university is also faith-based, which will probably show up from time to time, though I try to write for an audience that goes beyond that.  We are a teaching institution, so I won’t talk much about research, though I do some when I feel so inclined.  We place a premium on relationships with students, so I know my students fairly well, and they know me.

3.  My purpose here is never to attack students or point out their shortcomings in a mean manner.  I’ll try my best never to talk about students in a condescending manner.  My job as a professor is to try to teach students, and I rely on relationships with them to strengthen that teaching.  Making fun of them in a public setting is not conducive to education as I know it.

4.  The title of the blog comes from the idea that I want to speak honestly.  I don’t want to try to say what I think people want to hear about education, so I’ll try to write honestly about whatever subject it is I’m exploring.

Those are the basics for now.  I hope some of what I write is helpful, and I’m looking forward to writing and thinking about teaching, students, and everything related to higher education.

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