Bits of fluff in the ear and everything else you should know about college teaching from Pooh

I chanced upon this lovely piece of writing this morning from Book Riot by their contributor, dr b.: Everything I Needed to Know About Teaching, I Learned From Winne-the-Pooh. It is a lovely essay, with advice from a precocious instructor. She’s only two years in! It took me years and years to even even remotely begin to show this level of insight about teaching.

My favorites:

If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.

I feel it’s my job to pick out the very best, most interesting, and most useful things to do in a given topic during a given semester. But some students just have things they would rather do than my class. It happens.

There is also lovely writing advice:

When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.

Like many students, I have ruined a lot of really good ideas by trying to write them down.