The Little Orange Book

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The Little Orange Book

Short Lessons in Excellent Teaching

By The University of Texas System Academy of Distinguished Teachers

The members of the University of Texas System Academy of Distinguished Teachers—the only system-wide academy of teaching excellence in America—offer expert teaching tips and thoughtful reflections on classroom learning.

April 2015


33% website discount price


5 x 7.5 | 160 pp.

ISBN: 978-1-4773-0235-4

The Little Orange Book captures reflections and tips on teaching and learning from the seventeen members of the University of Texas System Academy of Distinguished Teachers. Its many vignettes span a wide range of topics and teaching interests, from establishing a safe learning space to classroom silences, from curriculum development to modeling the best teachers, and from giving thanks to those teachers who came before us to leaving our own legacies. The Little Orange Book is the perfect text for first-time college instructors who are just getting started on their instructional careers, as well as longtime faculty who have many experiences in the college-level classroom.

This book is written exclusively by members of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers for the UT System. This program of recognition for teaching excellence started in 2013, and there are now a total of seventeen faculty members from across the UT System in the academy. To the editors’ knowledge, this is the only system-wide academy of teaching excellence in the entire nation.


Everyone Is a Teacher (John Sibert)

It Starts with Attitude

    Hard on Standards, Soft on Students (Mary Lynn Crow)
    Lesson from a Mobile Fossil (Michael Starbird)
    The Mirror Effect (Brent Iverson)
    Curiosity and the Joy of Learning (John Sibert)
    Change Before You Have To (John Hadjimarcou)
    The Importance of Admitting You Don't Know (Neil Gray)
    Teaching and Learning Passion (Sophia Andres )
    Let Them in on the Secret (Michael E. Webber)
    A Value of Knowledge (Robert Prentice)
    Teach Doubt (Michael Starbird)
    Patience Is the Most Important Element of Good Teaching (Brent Iverson)
    I Hated General Chemistry (and I’m a Chemistry Professor!) (John Sibert)
    Positive Thinking (Robert Prentice)
    Imitate Success (John Hadjimarcou)
    Know What You’re Talking About (and Never Waste a Disaster) (Patrick Davis)

Teaching and Learning Is Based on Communication

    Connections (James Vick)
    What's in a Name? (Neil Gray)
    Elevate Your Audience (Michael E. Webber)
    Stories Make You Interesting (John Daly)
    Encouraging Communication in an Online Class (Beth Brunk-Chavez)
    Teach Selective Lying (Kenneth Roemer)

Techniques That Improve Learning

    Buy a Green Pen (John Daly)
    Bridging Academic and Student Cultures (Sophia Andres)
    Feedback Separates Good Teachers from Master Teachers (Michael Webber)
    Modeling Critical Thinking for Students (Patrick Davis)
    Teaching Invention Through Imitation? (Kenneth Roemer)
    Embrace the FUBU of Teaching (David Silva)
    To Group or Not to Group (Mary Lynn Crow)
    Drawing Attention in the Modern Classroom (Neil Gray )
    Build It and They Will Come (John Hadjimarcou)
    Containing the Classroom Hijacker (David Silva )
    Listening for Silences (Beth Brunk-Chavez)

College Students Need to Learn How to Learn

    How You Think Is Just as Important as What You Think About (Catherine Ross)
    Teach Your Students How to Master the Material Presented (Brent Iverson)
    Make Them Accountable, But Do It Kindly (Catherine Ross )
    Understanding Fairness (John Daly)
    Creating a Safe Zone in the University Classroom (Mary Lynn Crow)
    Teach Effective Thinking (Michael Starbird)
    “I’m Looking Through You” (to Build Resistance to Manipulation) (Kenneth Roemer)
    Be Careful—They Are Sensitive Beings (Catherine Ross)
    Your Class Is Not Their Life (Beth Brunk-Chavez)
    Give Thanks...and Prime the Pump (James Vick)

Concluding Thoughts

    First Things First (Robert Prentice)
    Teaching Beyond the Classroom (Sophia Andres)
    What’s Your Legacy? (David Silva)
    Finishing Well (James Vick)

The University of Texas System Academy of Distinguished Teachers, the only system-wide academy of teaching excellence in America, was established to recognize University of Texas System faculty members who demonstrate excellence in teaching and in increasing undergraduate learning.