In my time on the wiki, I've RPed two Professors (Professor Abigail "Sassidy" Cassidy, Merlin rest her soul, and Professor Bradley Carter). I've seen many different sorts of Professors RPed, with many different kinds of lesson plans, but over the last few IC years, I've seen classes all but come to a halt because very few professors are actually posting with any kind of regularity. And some of that, I theorize, comes from a lack of know-how, or confidence, in how to RP a professor. So since I did it for many years (and if anyone else who's RPed a professor can feel free to comment with any of their tricks!) I thought I'd put together a blog to see if it encourages posting. :)
- Give your professor a personality! You will want to post with your professor if you like your professor. Give them a reason to want a subject (preferably a subject you like/want/are interested in OOC) or two that they'd love to dig into. When I made Abigail, I made her nice... and then that got kind of boring. Lots of teachers were nice. So I made Bradley tougher/more strict. But there are so many kinds of teachers! Boring ones (Professor Bins anyone?), teachers that make their class the slacker class, ones who try to make jokes (and either succeed or fail), ones who focus on practical applications, ones who focus on theory etc etc etc. How does your professor interact with goody-two-shoes? With trouble makers?
- Easily the hardest part. Trust me, I understand. "What am I supposed to teach" is probably the easiest question to ask, and if I had to guess... the number one reason why teachers don't post. They simply don't know what to teach. I've written three lesson plans myself: History of Magic, Charms and Transfiguration. (I also have one for Animagus Training.) I see no reason to reinvent the wheel. Use them! Talk to other people who have taught your class-- how did they structure their lesson plans? Weekly? Bi-weekly?
- If you don't like a lesson plan that another teacher has used, don't use it! Create your own, or expand on one you liked parts of.
- Having lessons plans is crucial because as a teacher, because it keeps the class running. You know where you're going, and what you want the class to "accomplish" before the year is done. If you have this in place before you start, you'll never be left wondering what to teach.
- Just as a courtesy thing-- be sure to touch base with other professors when you're lesson planning. Sometimes certain spells could fall under multiple classes, and it's a good idea to make sure no one's doubling up!
I know we all have busy lives, but when you sign up to teach, remember that it's a nine-week commitment. (Eight, since Christmas is off, technically speaking). You don't have to post every day, but if the teacher doesn't post, two things happen: the class descends into madness... or no one posts.
Some tips and tricks for RPing in class:
- Dive in right away! I often started classes right off the bat with a question to begin with. This saves students from having to post just with their students sitting down/taking out books. Just assume everyone is there and get going!
- Try not to offer students a "choice" on what they'd like to learn. This is for a few reasons. One, to me it doesn't feel realistic-- have any of your school teachers ever given you a choice? I know mine didn't. It also eats up time because why would students know what they want to learn? You are the teacher and you are there to teach them. While OOC we might know what to expect... IC, realistically, students wouldn't know unless they've read ahead. You shouldn't need to ask for suggestions anyway, if you have a solid lesson plan already filled out.
- Post at least twice a week at minimum, three times a week if you can. Classes will either die out, or descend into chaos if you aren't helping facilitate the class.
- If you post on Monday/Wednesday/Friday, that gives students Tuesday/Thursday to post on the class.
- If you can't post three times, try for two. Monday (since that's the start of the week) and Thursday could work.
- Typically, I don't see teachers post over the OOC weekend. So give yourself the weekend off!
- Remember, the more you post, the less likely your class is to descend into chaos! That makes it easier to control. And the more you post, the more the class gets pushed along-- there's only so many posts with "right answers" people can do.
- It is your job to keep the class moving. If students aren't posting-- post with your professor!
- Don't be afraid to GM! I found that more students posted on my classes when there was a teacher GMing. It's way more fun for the students (in my opinion) and it can be really fun to do so! It takes a little extra work, but sometimes all you need to do for a class is to GM once you've gotten to spell work. You can have your teacher post with suggestions and House points, but sometimes a quick GM post is enough, and will keep a class running.
- Start over fresh each week on Monday. It takes a lot of archiving, I know. Even if it's just to continue the lesson that you stopped over the weekend, I highly recommend archiving the previous week. It keeps the pages looking nice, and technically from an IC standpoint... each week is a new month. So it helps keep a time flow, so to speak. It's your choice on whether or not to start over with a new topic, or continue the one from last week. If you do continue on from the previous week, my suggestion would be to move from discussion to application, or to pose a new question on the same topic, so you aren't beating a dead hippogriff.
Go forth and teach! (Or leave comments!)