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Frank M. Bryan


       In response to a friend who had just been denied a very prestigious public appointment in the governance of England by the Crown and was lamenting the fact to him while worrying about his future, Sir Thomas Moore made the following suggestion:

    Sir Thomas Moore:      Why not be a teacher? You'd be a fine teacher; perhaps a great one.
    Richard Rich:               But if I was, who would know it?
    Sir Thomas Moore:      You; your pupils; your friends; God. Not a bad public, that.

My "Philosophy of Teaching"
Reprinted from The UVM Record, October 8, 1999)

  In teaching, CONTENT IS THE CORE NECESSITY. Come to class unprepared and your students will know it. Worse, do it several times and you will lose them. I take knowing your subject cold as a given. But content, while necessary, is not sufficient. That, after all, is why we are called teachers. To wit, my top ten observations on becoming a better teacher.
  1. Moses could come down to lecture on the Old Testament and students would fall asleep if he didn’t apply energy and style to his work.
  2. Teaching done well takes effort. Sweat if you have to, and it’s OK to let them see you do it.
  3. Everyone has a style. Find yours and work at developing it.
  4. Don’t be pretentious, but never be palsie-walsie either. Act your age and your status. If you need friends get them somewhere else.
  5. Never be cynical about what it is you are teaching.   If you don’t believe in it, why should they?
  6. Just because you are not a friend doesn’t mean you can’t be nice.
  7. If you miss a class—for any reason—make it up.
  8. Don’t be a jerk about exams.
  9. This doesn’t mean you can’t be demanding.
  10. Never forget that teaching beats the hell out of working for a living!

Current Courses

   Spring 2013

    • POLS 21 The American Political System
    • POLS 123 The Vermont Political System

   Fall 2012

   Spring 2012



  Other Courses Taught
  • Political Science Department
Teaching Awards

VPR Commentaries
The Prof
Real Democracy
"Real Democracy" Reviews