As part of the new student orientation for the department, Jake Wobig and I were asked to talk briefly about teaching and give advice to folks who might be landing in the classroom for the first time this semester. Jake tackled a bit of pedagogical theory and will post his thoughts here soon. I took on the following topics:
- Preparing to Teach & Communicating with your Supervising Professor
- Maintaining a Professional Presence in the Classroom
- Motivating your Students
To avoid a lengthy post, I’ve attached a pdf with the details. Note that while much of this advice is oriented towards teaching assistants, I’ve found that a lot of it also applies to teaching as an independent instructor.
Teaching style is really specific to the individual instructor in the classroom and opinions on best practices vary widely. At the least, you have to be true to your personality and preferences in order to be an effective instructor. If you aren’t, the classroom environment will call your bluff pretty quickly. You don’t stop being you just because you’re standing in front of a group of undergrads. Use your strengths and try to bolster your skills to counter your weaknesses. This bit of advice is simply what works for me — hope it helps!