I'm the Teacher, You're the Student: A Semester in the University Classroom

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University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005 - Education - 244 pages
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What is it really like to be a college professor in an American classroom today? An award-winning teacher with over twenty years of experience answers this question by offering an enlightening and entertaining behind-the-scenes view of a typical semester in his American history course. The unique result--part diary, part sustained reflection--recreates both the unstudied realities and intensely satisfying challenges that teachers encounter in university lecture halls.

From the initial selection of reading materials through the assignment of final grades to each student, Patrick Allitt reports with keen insight and humor on the rewards and frustrations of teaching students who often are unable to draw a distinction between the words "novel" and "book." Readers get to know members of the class, many of whom thrive while others struggle with assignments, plead for better grades, and weep over failures. Although Allitt finds much to admire in today's students, he laments their frequent lack of preparedness--students who arrive in his classroom without basic writing skills, unpracticed with reading assignments.

With sharp wit, a critical eye, and steady sympathy for both educators and students, I'm the Teacher, You're the Student examines issues both large and small, from the ethics of student-teacher relationships to how best to evaluate class participation and grade writing assignments. It offers invaluable guidance to those concerned with the state of higher education today, to young faculty facing the classroom for the first time, and to parents whose children are heading off to college.


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I'm the teacher, you're the student: a semester in the university classroom

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This charming book captures the author's reflections on teaching a U.S. history course to undergraduates at Emory University. With a friendly intimacy, he invites the reader into his classroom ... Read full review

Selected pages


The Introductory Course
Getting Ready
Early Class Meetings
The Discussion and Lecture Routine
Educators Excursions
Technology and Technique
Papers and Plagiarism
Treats and Tribulations
MidTerm Misconceptions
A Dry Pleasure
Vietnam as Ancient History
First Drafts Draft Dodgers and Deadlines
From the HitlerStalin Pack to the Peace Treat
Inflated Grades and Sentiments
Finals and Farewells

Radicals and Patriots
The Conscious Professor
Long Dry Spouts and Levels Unheard Of

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About the author (2005)

Patrick Allitt is Professor of U.S. History at Emory University, where he holds the Arthur Blank Chair for Teaching Excellence. He supervises workshops for Emory faculty interested in improving effective teaching skills. His previous books include Religion in America Since 1945: A History and Catholic Converts: British and American Intellectuals Turn to Rome.

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