Anyway, it's the time of year when academic work becomes a lot less academic (in that other sense of the word) and practical concerns press heavily on us all. Herewith, therefore, an idiosyncratic round-up of relevant tips or sites for students and professors alike.
How to E-Mail Your Professors. The guidelines in this post seem entirely sensible to me. Even if (like some of the commenters) you quibble with the details, I think everyone would agree that you should approach any communication with your professors (indeed, with anyone you hope will take you seriously) responsibly and professionally. Above all, never forget the First Law of Electronic Communication: once you click "send," you can't get it back. (The same goes for posts on your blog and status updates on Facebook, just btw.)More as occasions warrant. In the meantime, time to go test the PowerPoint slides and double-check that all the links on Blackboard are working as planned.
Dear Students... There are my own somewhat snarky (but still well-founded!) suggestions from this season last year.
I Worked So Hard! In her inimitable style, The Little Professor considers the relationship between effort, ambition, and success. See also her piece on Dealing with Professors. I especially like the reassurance that "most of us ... are not necessarily evil." True: in my own case, it's a lifestyle choice. He he.
On Teaching Evaluations. Professors: remember, it's impossible to please all of your students all of the time. Students: remember, not everyone is just like you, so perhaps what the professor should do instead of whatever you don't like is not as obvious as you think.
Did I Miss Anything? This poem by Tom Wayman remains the best response I know to a professors' most hated question, though this year I think I'll go with "you'll never know, will you?"
ProfHacker. This newly launched site, established by Jason B. Jones of The Salt-Box and collaborators, is already a goldmine full of nuggets of advice about pedagogy, technology (yay, help with wikis!), and academic business (for instance, ideas for reforming bad meetings)
Confessions of a Community College Dean. This blog always has thoughtful, and thought-provoking, discussions of administrative and pedagogical issues. Dalhousie faculty wondering how the university's policies on "Academic Continuity" in the event that the campus is hard hit by the H1N1 virus will affect their plans and policies may want to look at this post and its comment thread.
OWL. Purdue's Online Writing Lab remains one of the best online writing resources I know.
Teaching Writing Across the Curriculum. I like a lot of things about this book; I've adapted the letter-writing assignment described on pages 30-34 for my 19th-century fiction classes and will be using my version of it again this year, after reverting last year to more traditional papers.