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how to read evaluations

The semester is over. Grades are in. And now that we have evaluated student work, it’s time to read the evaluations that students have written about us and our work.

Plenty of other people have written better on how complicated evaluations are for adjuncts as people with precarious work situations, leading to problems like grade […]


Over the past five years of teaching, I have come to believe that (long) writing assignments do not advance student learning unless drafting and revision are part of the required process.

In my first years, I started out offering the chance to revise (and to raise the grade) for any student who chose to, within […]

Rec letters

About once a year, a student will ask me for a rec letter. Usually it’s a student with whom I have good rapport, and I would love to write it. But even though I am flattered to be asked, often I don’t.

Here’s why:

1. I don’t have a PhD yet. The student is trying […]

Peer editing

Peer editing is a teaching technique that ought to always be terrific. Students get to teach and learn from one another with minimal instructor intervention. It’s low stakes. It’s reflexive. Students can work with people and writing that is unlike themselves and their own. Everyone gets to participate, down to the quietest students.

But I […]

When a student tells you a personal problem

At least once a semester, I will have a student come to me with a personal problem: home or family life, not able to keep up in school or unhappy with it, parental pressure to do better in school, relationship troubles. This happens to many of us – we are often young, and seem friendlier […]

First days

Friday was my first day teaching my new class at the Macaulay Honors College: Seminar 4 – Urban Futures.

The first day of class always brings with it a little bit of 2nd grade anxiety, even for an instructor: what should I wear? Where is the bathroom? Do I have typos on my syllabus? Will […]

Naomi Adiv

Hi – I’m Naomi Adiv and I’m fishing my PhD at the CUNY Graduate Center in Earth and Environmental Sciences/Geography. This semester, I’m teaching Seminar 4 at Macaulay – Urban Futures. In the past, I’ve taught Urban Studies and Geography at Hunter College and Queens College, and Research Methods in Sustainable Interior Environments at FIT. […]