College professors are experts in their subjects of study, but they’re mostly amateurs in the classroom: unlike research, our teaching lacks consistent standards and practices. At the same time, it has also been a near-constant target of reform. For over 100 years, American colleges and universities have struggled to make college teaching more “personal” via discussion sections and other small-group activities. Technological innovation has aimed to “personalize” teaching as well, by making it more convenient for the student, but it has also rendered teaching more impersonal by widening the distance between student and teacher. The accent on the “personal” has itself been a major obstacle to professionalizing college teaching: the more we associate teaching with individual qualities and characteristics, the less amenable it becomes to real change.