Lecturing - running before can walk?

31-Aug-10, 13:39
edited about 13 seconds later
Avatar for Aspiring
posted about 10 years ago
Hi all,
I have a dilemma! I am finishing my PhD and have no teaching experience and so have been lining up tutorial work for the in coming semester to get experience etc. I have just been offered 6 weeks lecturing in a different uni. I know this sounds great but I have some reservations. The biggest one is that I have never taught before and the lectures are 2 hours on a topic I literally know nothing about! Secondly the preparation time - I have teaching on approx 3 other modules sorted so far and my viva to condend with. Thirdly, lectures start the day I am meant to be going away. I know this sounds really shallow but I really want to get a post PhD submission break - my own uni starts later than this one, hence the timing. I don't know what to do - am really torn and it would look good on my cv but I can help but wish I a, hadn't been offered it or b, it was in 3 or 6 months time.

I know a lot of job applications specify teaching experience - is this meant to include lecturing / I always interpreted this as experience gained from tutorial/seminar work?

Any thoughts?
As if submitting wasn't stressful enough!
31-Aug-10, 14:14
Avatar for queerface VIP
posted about 10 years ago
mmmm tough. Here are my thoughts: I have done a bit of lecturing and seminar-based teaching and I found the latter much easier to do because it was just easier to talk to a small group and you can do more creative group things that mean that you are not talking for a whole hour etc etc so it takes not 'less' time to prepare for necessarily, just that the preparation is a bit easier, if just as time-consuming. Small group exercises are harder to do in a lecture. And if you run out of material then it is a nightmare. As an inexperienced teacher it was taking me 1 week to prepare for 1 class. so it was ALL time-consuming.

BUT because lecturing is a bit more demanding I have always thought it looked better to have experience of than just seminar leading

HOWEVER the informal advice I have received from friends and colleagues is that teaching experience wont really make a difference to getting a job; if you have a good research record and no teaching experience it is better than if you have loads of teaching experience and no research.

So... maybe you could ask the module leaders of the modules you are teaching on if they will give you a one-off lecture for the experience? this is quite common practice in my uni, or, you could explain the heavy workload to the uni which approached you and asked if you can do half that teaching. Maybe you have a friend you can propose to them to share it with?

It does sound like a lot, though it can be done, and you do have some good reasons not to want to do it, so I would go with your instinct. Focus on that teaching you are doing now and try to get some bits and bobs from other places as it is possible.

Good luck with your submission and Viva! argh!


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