Good gifts for first time art instructors?
November 24, 2010 7:17 AM   Subscribe

Art Professors and Art College Instructors: What helped you get through your first semester of teaching?

I have a friend who has accepted a full-time design instructorship at an Art University. She has been working in the design field professionally for many years, but has never taught before and is nervous.

I would love to get her a gift (or three) that she doesn't yet know she needs. She will be teaching mostly first year design courses and most or all of the curriculum and coursework will be done on computers (Adobe suite), so fancy pencils and such aren't necessary (right?).

An example of the kind of thing I'm thinking of is a remote USB clicker. I don't know if that would actually be a good gift, but I could imagine that it would be useful while lecturing about computer stuff and might not be something she would think of on her own. I'm hoping that those of you with actual experience will be able to come up with something better.
posted by anonymous to Education (2 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I did the same thing -- working professional, started teaching intro courses.

What she's going to be doing in class is a lot of lecture and group critique. What she's going to be doing outside of class is going to be a lot more labor intensive and emotionally draining -- grading, prepping lectures, talking to students who need more guidance.

What I would have liked:
- Books on giving constructive criticism
- A subscription or 6 to design magazines I didn't have already
- Comfortable, professional shoes
- Music to grade by
- Snacks and goofy crap to bring to class to lighten up the mood
- An awesome USB stick (cool looking) or 12, since students always borrowed mine (argh)
- an understanding friend who realized all my free time was gone who would stop by with dinner, etc.

In the professional world, I use my remote clicker/laser pointer every single day, but in class, I don't know if I would find it useful but that's going to depend on if she's building her lectures in powerpoint (and if she's teaching design, I hope to god she's not).
posted by Gucky at 7:34 AM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

As a new-ish adjunct, the best gift I was ever given was a SignatureMini. As my class is extremely heavy on media and music, I store everything on it, plug it into the console at the front of the class, and we're off and running. It's been fabulous. (Thanks, honey!)
posted by LN at 8:10 AM on November 24, 2010

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