Lecturers are often hired for their research credentials and trained more research than the skills and abilities to teach their skills. The University employs professors hope that they can also learn, and often things are going well, in part because academia is able to hold workshops on pedagogy, learning mentors and to develop their skills of teaching “on the job”. What might be useful, however, is for a new teacher to hear suggestions of people currently in the system and learn from their mistakes. In this post, I will discuss the ideas and thoughts concerning education, by focusing on the things that will be useful at the beginning of my teaching career (Note: the words of advice from my own point of view in the teaching of science courses, sometimes in a ‘podium’ style).
Confident, although you’re always nervous
Stand in front of an audience is always scary, and although it improves with time, butterflies and anxiety that can be fixed. Although more than 11 years of teaching and often lectured in the same year, I was nervous. This means that you must develop a strategy to deal with your nerves and admit that they make you a better teacher. Not nervous might suggest otherwise, or lack of interest or may recommend that you be a little too familiar with the material (time to change?). Nervous is normal and will increase the level of your game and keeps you on your toes. Rather specific to the individual nerve strategy, but I try to make sure that I had a good breakfast (or dinner), I know the material (being prepared is the key to helping with the nerve), and I tried to make myself busy at the time led to the College. I also try not to appear too early to go to College, so I got up and tinkering on the front class worry goes the clock ticking slowly towards the beginning of the Conference. Whatever your nerves, however, the instructor should show confidence! Students need to know that you believe in yourself and the courses and material. The challenge is to have a sense of confidence despite his Twitter… but we must find a solution; without trust, you will lose your room and can rattle nerves this belief.
Don’t overdo prepare
Teaching will have all the time you give. If you start to prepare for the College in early August for the course that starts in early September, you could potentially spend all the time you prepare the ingredients, but still, find difficult to rethink and to return to work after the course really starts. It is key that you prepare your lesson plan and the results of early learning, develop an evaluation strategy and a plan of great features but be sure to get all your conference material prepared too much before the course begins. In my experience, when I prepare my original is not to return to my regular job. This opinion, however, varies according to your knowledge base that relates to what you teach. If you are catapulted into a new course outside your area of expertise, it is very important to do a lot of good basic reading in advance.
If you don’t have a good answer for students’ question, don’t try to stumble through the answers. Just say “I don’t know–let me get back to you”. Then, after college, figuring out the answer and came back with the answer that for the next lecture. Students are intelligent, capable, and can spot it when an instructor is faking it. When that happens, sink your credibility, and you end up making a big mess of things. However, being honest about not knowing the answer shows you are human and come back with a solid answer to show that you care. Similarly, honestly, if you mess up something during a lecture. Almost every year that I have taught, I have ‘ redo ‘ College since the first time I tried it, it’s a mess. When that happens, start again the next lecture. Sometimes you can also ‘ Schumi ‘ College start if things did not go well.
Boredom when teaching is an important issue. Always change how you teach, what you teach and how do you assess students. Don’t be afraid to mix things up now and then, as this will keep things fresh and exciting for you and your students. When your university teaching unit service offers new ideas and innovative or workshops on learning and teaching innovation, take advantage of this opportunity to learn new ways to approach teaching and pedagogy. Try new technologies as they become available, from the clickers to smart boards; You may end up adopting some, or you may go back to the basics. Never satisfied to do ‘ the same thing ‘ with your course.
Learn from a mentor
As you build your own Department or faculty, to know who the best lecturers, and go sit in their class. Go to some lectures to see the various styles of teaching and provides a different approach to the content. See the tricks and strategies for how instructors develop relationships with students; how they use humor (or not) and assess their use (or abuse) of technology in the classroom. Assess what worked and adapt their own teaching to emulate things. It is also important to invite a mentor you come sit at your own college. They can provide useful feedback to you, and (finally) was in a strong position to provide a letter of endorsement refers to a portfolio of your own teaching. At the University, many of the lecturers are fabulous surround you, and you can and should use their skills to improve your own teaching.
Fatal error in teaching is that we often try to cover too much material. Almost all of the ‘ experienced ‘ Professors that I know of has, over time, reduce the amount of material they cover term. Take your time, includes the concepts carefully, using examples, analogies, and keep the pace slow, especially if you want to have some level of involvement of students. If you are in a hurry all the time, students will be scrambling to follow, be annoyed, and maybe stop coming to lecture. Pause every now and then, ask, answer a question, repeat the complex concepts, back past the lecture material every now and then. I often tell stories that are relevant to force yourself to ease into or out of the materials – for example, when I teach ecology General, I’ll often take a news story or a relevant blog post and spent some time talking about it and link the example course content ‘ real world ‘. This is a ‘ value added ‘ material, and in addition to forcing me to cover less content and slow it down, it also provides the opportunity to expand course content.
Learn the names
Develop a relationship with students is important, and know the name is the key to developing this relationship. This is only possible with a little hard work at the beginning of each term, and then, from time to time it will be much easier. Learn Your class list, put a face to the name, and when giving it back duties, doing so on an individual basis, looking at each student, mention their names to them, and make that connection. I found it is possible to train yourself to learn somewhere between 60-70 name is more about the period of the 2-3 week. This process allows you to create a relationship with the students, and you can call them by name for activity in the classroom or address them personally when they ask questions.
Get help when you need it
Not everything goes smoothly, and you may find assistance at one time or another. As mentioned above, taking advantage of the educational workshop or event or Conference. If you’re struggling with the skills of presentation, projection or speed, think about getting extra help: join a course at night school in the theater, or submit you silly but practical process useful in front of a mirror: this will help you to learn the practice and habit and help you to develop your presentation skills. Speak with your Department Manager when things go wrong, and they should be able to provide resources or other forms of assistance. It is very important to identify the weaknesses in the teaching of you since the beginning and to find solutions to this problem. Although the temptation may be to focus on your research program, you cannot leave you suffering from teaching.
Pay attention to the assessment of students
But don’t obsess over them, whatever the views on the assessment of students, they are part of the process, and you will be assessed as an instructor. Numbers of hard often inform decisions and promotions, and you should pay attention to these numbers. However, teaching is not a numbers game, and the value of the assessment which is low does not mean you are a bad teacher. Perhaps people sometimes see a drop in the teaching of Scores when the new technologies or approaches. In other words, can take a few years to see the positive effects of new approaches for the evaluation of teaching and in the short term can suffer. Try to watch this assessment with the telescope, knowing that there are several reasons for the year to year variation in the digital evaluation of the effect, ‘force’, have your new baby at home, illness, change the type of assessment, etc. That being said, it is very important to read and act on the written comments provided by students or interpret them according to the trends, in particular occasionally. I found that anyone who takes the time to transcribe the feedback often has things that are insightful and useful to say.
Teaching is really one of the most rewarding job: very interesting, constantly evolving, and we must not forget the honor and the privilege to teach at the University. Seriously, who work hard, but have also a little fun now and then. Remember, the sharing and exchange of knowledge are an amazing process, and we should take advantage of this procedure, to interact positively our students and be able to laugh at our own mistakes and the funny situations in the amphitheater. Trying to be firm, but accessible. confident but not arrogant; Fun, but not ridiculous.