9 Terrible Ideas for Summer Instructors

9 Terrible Ideas for Summer Instructors


In just a few weeks the summer semester kicks off. This year, several schools such as UC Santa Cruz and Southeastern Louisiana have started offering more places in high-demand courses during the warm months — meaning that the most successful instructors… will have to work when it’s warm out.

For those dedicated teachers spending sunny days stuck in a lecture hall and summer nights grading papers, we’ve collected nine pieces of “advice” that might take the heat off (but we can’t be held responsible for other consequences).

1. Work on your tan

Replace your computer lab’s screens with old cathode-ray tube monitors. Turn them all towards you—instant dose of UV!

2. Bring the beach to the lecture hall

Take inspiration from urban beaches by draping towels and fancy umbrellas over student seating. Sand/seagulls optional.

3. Float in a boat

Flood the bottom floor of the theater with lake water and conduct your lecture from a paddle boat in your flip-flops. The administrators are all on vacation—why shouldn’t you be?

4. Skip the black metal studies

Yes, it’s a real thing. But the garb is heat-absorbing…and the beard chafes.

5. And avoid Russian literature too

The Death of Ivan Ilyich loses its pathos when there’s an trilling ice cream truck outside.

6. Bring everyone into the sun

All you really need to teach in the summer is a megaphone and a cooler to stand on. You can lecture in the parking lot or perhaps a street corner. It works in London, after all.

7. Dehydration demonstration

Always remember to drink enough water when it’s hot outside, otherwise you won’t be able to emulate this professor at Brigham Young University who told a student that she could drink his urine for extra credit. (It wasn’t really urine.)

8. Save energy

This professor decided to lecture in the dark last winter. Do this in summer with the aircon as well, and you’ll have your students’ undivided attention, at least until they fall asleep.

9. Lecture remotely, from poolside or the beach

Robots connected to mobile cameras and control devices have been used so that lecturers can speak remotely. Meanwhile, beaches around the world have set up free, high speed Wi-Fi. You might get an innovation grant for this.

If you’re serious about summer teaching, and want to engage your students, this is the ideal time to try Top Hat. Sign up and your students will get complimentary iced coffee during their first day of class. For more details and to book a demo, click here.

Photograph: Nazareth College/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

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