Signup date: 19 Aug 2015 at 7:05pm
Last login: 24 Oct 2018 at 3:45pm
Post count: 50
This isn't necessarily a problem. I'm a first year PhD student and have been told relatedly to not worry about the first several months as much. From what I gather, PhD students think they can start working a master piece in month two and it just doesn't work like that. I'm currently teaching, doing an MA in teaching, and my PhD. Naturally, I'm a little busy and told that it's normal to not really get started until several months in.
While I am still within my first year, I thought sharing my experience thus far, and my plan for the coming months might help.
I am doing a full-time PhD, alongside an MA in teaching in higher education, which is compulsory at my University. I am also taking two second year undergraduate classes this semester.
As you can expect, therefore, most of my time is dedicated to completing the MA and to teaching. Alongside this, however, I am merely scoping out data sources and cases for my research.
I won't start on the literature review until nearer the time when I am required to submit a document for progression. As I have done similar things in my undergraduate and masters dissertations, I am quite familiar with the literature already.
Thanks for the comment guys. My University makes teacher training compulsory, either in your first or second year. I have opted to do it in my first year. You don't receive the training before you teach, however, they are back to back. So you are taught while you are teaching.
I know the content relatively well - and contributed towards the reading list for this module when it was set up. My concern is that I won't be an adequate teacher and my students will suffer as a result. As with blocksof, I had a PhD teaching me during my masters, and as a result, almost failed a module. Suffice it to say, I wouldn't want to inflict that on anyone else.
So I have just started my PhD and have already been told that I am taking two modules (one in each semester) and may end up teaching about 40 students in my seminar classes. My supervisor even suggested that I might take a couple of the lectures (but decided against it as they didn't want to throw me in the deep end so quickly).
The stuff I am teaching overlaps heavily with my previous research (undergraduate and masters) but I just do not feel like I have the expertise to teach this stuff effectively. I don't really feel like I belong here (I sort of coasted through my undergrad and masters, and somehow achieved good grades - everything just worked out for me) and now I'm partially responsible for the education of others... feels wrong, for want of a better word.
Not sure what to do. I am obviously reading the material to get to grips with it and will be meeting with the module coordinator so that I can go over everything, but it still doesn't sit well with me.
What about you guys? Did this happen to you? Any advice?
If you approach this reasonably and calmly, and highlight the problem honestly (without brutal honesty) then I don't see why it should negatively impact your reputation. If you are lucky, it will solidify your reputation as being upfront and honest, characteristics most people find admirable.
Suffice it to say, if you are having a problem then you need to speak with the person. In some cases, that will allow you to solve the problem, in others, it might mean a change of supervisor.
Here's a tough question for you lot. PhD students are always encouraged, it seems, to blog. Now only doe it help them establish a consistent schedule of always writing, but allows them to get stuff off their stuff and disseminate small parts of their research.
Here's the question: If a PhD student, say in political science, write a blog on their research, could they also include political opinions (based in their research)?
My advice, like everyone else who has this far replied, is to not give up. With my first PhD interview I got all the way to the final stage, a decision between two final candidates for the project, before I lost to someone else. I searched around and wrote a few more applications and eventually, on my third application, got accepted with full funding, so definitely keep trying.
My advice is to send an email, thank them for the opportunity, and ask, if possible, for feedback. When writing an application to a specific institution contact them first. Explain the research and ask if it is relevant to the department. A number of universities I thought would be good choices for my research wrote back saying that they were not the best choices and suggested other places.
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