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Teaching While Pursuing Your PhD

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If you’re in the process of pursuing your Ph.D. then you may want to consider teaching as a way to fund your expenses or as an additional paid opportunity. This type of experience can be very rewarding but there are some possible pitfalls you could experience when trying to teach at this stage of your career. Here we’ll take a look at some tips to help improve your experience when teaching.

Always Learn from the Veterans

We recommend you to consult the teachers as well as colleagues that may have relevant experience. They can help give you insights about the student population and other relevant procedures that will be useful as a teacher. You should research the type of students that you will be working with. Administrators are also another good source of information regarding students that you’ll be working with. This is especially more so if you plan on working with those with special needs such as dyslexia.

Raise Important Questions

You will likely want to consider the lessons in a wider context. How does it fit with the entire course curriculum? Do you know how the students will be evaluated for this course? Determine which key points you feel will be the most important for students to understand.

Make Room for These Innovations

Wherever possible, make sure that the course allows for lots of interaction between the students and yourself (according to Tradewind. Having group discussions helps keep students more engaged and often resolves the problem of their being silent during normal class situations. If you allocate certain questions to small segments of the class and others to another segment, this will likely lead to more participation.

Keep Duration of the Class Within Your Reach

Be aware of any time limits the class has. It is often difficult for a new teacher to properly plan out lessons based on the time they have. Practice running through the day’s lesson with a colleague or friend and time it to make sure that you’re able to complete it within the time frame while also allowing students to engage with the class. You might also find it useful to visit the classroom to get comfortable with it.

Arrive Early to the Class!

When you begin, it is important to arrive to class early so that you aren’t under pressure before beginning teaching. By arriving there with time to spare you will be able to make any adjustments that you need and be in a relaxed state when the students arrive. If you open the door it will make the students feel more welcomed.

Visiting the class early might mean coming to it before classes begin or in the late afternoon after all classes have finished. If you need any change to the classroom, then this is a good time to make them. Some classes such as social science or humanities will do well by setting the room up as a roundtable where all classmates can easily see one another.

Start Well Your Beginning

Make sure to plan your introduction. You should tell your students a bit about yourself and about your background and experiences. You will then want the students to introduce themselves and tell you interesting facts so that you and others can remember details about each person.

Set forth class expectations at the beginning. Often a new teacher will find it difficult to understand why students aren’t doing their work. Often this gets caused because the teacher failed to set forth the expectations at the beginning. As the teacher, you are the leader of the class and need to make it clear what your expectations are and what you expect from the student. When you show that you are interested in the topic being taught, the students will respond in kind.

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