Clarence F Stephens Advice to Teachers
The following advice to teachers by Clarence F Stephens is taken from the article: Armond Spencer, 'On attracting and retaining mathematics majors - don't cancel the human factor', Notices Amer. Math. Soc. 42 (1995), 859-862.
- Believe in your students - everyone CAN do mathematics, philosophy, art, literature, etc.
- Know your students - their names, what they know, their hopes and fears.
- Don't say this is easy, or this is trivial.
- Go fast slowly (most teachers go slow fast).
- It is very difficult to learn how to solve problems by watching someone else do it or by reading a book; the best method to learn to solve problems is by solving a lot of problems yourself.
- High standards do not mean having unrealistic expectations so students feel that they have failed.
- Write tests carefully - know what your average student can do and what your best student can do.
- And most of all - teach the students you have, not the ones you wish you had.
Last Updated July 2022