TIPS FOR (FIRST TIME) TEACHING Jessica L. Collett Before the class begins… Draw from experience. Let someone else do the work for you. Plan ahead. Before the class begins… Draw from experience. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Did you take the class that you’re teaching, or TA for it? Check out those syllabi or syllabi for similar classes online. What kind of reading would you do as an undergraduate student? What assignments did you love (and learn from)? What kind of instructor do you want to be? What kind of instructor can you be? Play to your strengths. Be yourself. Before the class begins… Let someone else do the work for you. Choose a book – whether a reader, a text, or a monograph – to center your course around Incorporate components of other people’s syllabi assignments, policies, course objectives Plan ahead. Determine your course objectives Consider in-class activities Teaching Create a Sociology a detailed syllabus contract between you and the students When things get rolling… Be the professor. When things get rolling… Be the professor. Dress the part Be clear with your expectations, stand your ground Your job is to educate them, not placate them Stay ahead of the reading, lectures, etc. Use only the technology that you’re comfortable with Be prepared Keep your promises turn-around time for feedback and grading remembering to check into things As the semester goes on… Take a “grounded theory” approach. Solicit feedback. Protect your time. As the semester goes on… Take a “grounded theory” approach It’s doubtful this will be the last time you’ll teach this course. What will you do next time? Generate a folder with lecture notes, handouts, clips and comics, etc. Make note of what works and what doesn’t Write down student examples (from exams, papers, class discussion) to use in subsequent iterations Be willing to switch things around However, ensure any changes can only help the students! As the semester goes on… Solicit feedback Mid-term evaluations What do you like most about this course? What do you like least about the course? What changes can the professor make to enhance your learning/experience in this class? What changes can you make to enhance your learning/experience in this class? 1. 2. 3. 4. Make use of the feedback Ask Summarize student concerns, respond to them a “professional” for advice invite them in to watch you teach As the semester goes on… Protect your time Delineate This Keep specific teaching time includes reading and answering emails! up with research Being a faculty member is about balancing research and teaching; now is the time to master that balance. Encourage Create students to be involved without you a buddy system or groups for students to lean on Encourage students to form study groups, review together… Solicit exam questions from students, incorporate peer review Wrapping up the semester Solicit feedback (again). Prep for next time. Wrapping up the semester Solicit more feedback. Let students know this was your first time teaching and that you really value the feedback they provide on the CIFs. Ask an extra-credit final exam question on their most loved and most hated reading of the semester. making sure they articulate rationale for these choices Debrief with others. Prep for next time. While it’s still fresh, think about what to toss out, what went over well. Incorporate student concerns from CIF. Then let it go and get back to other things.