First day jitters, for everyone

Being new faculty can be very tricky — like being the new kid at school. Where is my office? Where is this class? What am I supposed to do with these students? Luckily, MCTC has a great deal of resources to help.

As a somewhat (my second year at MCTC and my sixth year of teaching) new faculty member, I have found MCTC to be a remarkable place for the freshman teacher. Here are some reasons why:

Colleagues and deans, talk to them, they have been through this before. They can help you navigate the intricacies of daily life at MCTC and teaching.

The Center for Teaching and Learning, get in touch with Cheryl Neudauer and Lena Jones who have a plethora of resources they can connect you with, including new faculty teaching circles, campus leaders, experienced faculty and mentors.

Ask questions, and don’t be afraid to ask.

Someone somewhere has encountered a similar problem or question — you just need to know where to look.

Ask your neighbors (here at MCTC), staff or anyone you meet. This is an amazingly friendly campus where someone is always ready to help.

Students, you can help your new teachers too! One of the biggest struggles for faculty is in the classroom.

Usually we can figure out paperwork and securing resources, but we can’t see into the minds of our students.

This is where you come in. Tell us how we’re doing. Give us feedback when an idea does or doesn’t seem to be working.

Let us know what other resources we can secure to help you.

Visit our offices, send us emails and fill out our surveys. This information is invaluable.

I know I wouldn’t have made it this long if my first students weren’t so supportive and willing to share.

Don’t write your new instructors off if they don’t seem to have the hang of things — teaching, just like most skills, takes time to learn and perfect.

Unfortunately, we don’t have the luxury of testing coursework out before we have to present it to the students — so without your feedback and support we won’t know how to change and adjust. You are our on-the-job training.

Faculty and students be ready to support one another, we are in this together, right? Constructive feedback and guidance can make all of the difference in a new faculty member (or student’s) life.

For me, MCTC has been a beacon of hope where my colleagues and students have supported me in becoming more effective in my job and feeling secure in what I do.

I invite all of you to be that same beacon for someone new, I know I will be!

Jennifer Malarski is a faculty member in the Business Management department of MCTC.