I couldn't talk you out of it, huh? Best of luck to you, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. To help you on your way, though, here are a few resources I found helpful and which I suggest to you. (Note: all links are affiliate links.)
- The most important skill I can recommend to you, as a new professor, is time management. This boils down two to two things: managing your commitments & projects, and focusing on your long term goals. For the first of these, I can recommend no resource higher than Getting Things Done by David Allen. Essentially, this is just a collection of 'tricks' for collecting and managing requests/information/ideas/etc as they are thrown at you, but they work. And furthermore, they continue to work even if you implement them piecemeal, tweak them to suit your own particular way of doing things, etc. I cannot recommend it too highly. (In fact, I try to re-read it once a year or so just to see if there's anything more in there I can use. There usually is.)
Right. So with that one book, you've got the commitment/project management side covered. I wish I could recommend a similarly strong book for the other side, focusing on your long-term goals, but I haven't found one yet. David Allen has written a follow-up book on this exact topic (Making It All Work) but I haven't read it yet. A lot of people seem to find inspiration in Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, but I found it a little insipid. Your mileage may vary.
If anyone has a good book on the topic they'd like to recommend, can they please leave it in the comments?
Teaching is a skill. It helps to have talent, but everyone's got some learning to do before they get good at it. Now, you can learn from your own painful experience, but I prefer to learn from other people's painful experience instead. And the best book I can recommend for in-classroom teaching skills is The Torch or the Firehose by Arthur P. Mattuck, a pamphlet published by MIT for its TAs. Everything I learned about working a classroom, I learned from that book. (And every time I deviated from its good advice, I regretted it.) It's good, and it's free. Go download it.
As for everything else, I recommend Advice for New Faculty Members, by Robert Boyce. In particular, I especially appreciate that this is not a collection of tricks. Instead, it tries to instill a specific mindset to have-- one which focuses on maintaining equilibrium for the long haul. From the table of contents: "Wait" (Chapter 1), "Stop" (Chapter 4), and "Let others do some of the work" (Chapter 7). The book does have its share of specific advice and tricks, but the thing that sets it apart from other books on the topic is this zen-like mindset of moderation in all things. Like Getting Things Done, above, 90% of this book will go over your head the first time you read it. I suggest you re-read it every year or so until there's nothing more in it to be gained. (And if you ever get to that point, you've made it well past me.)
Do any of the other professors out there have other suggestions to throw in?