Planning a teaching demonstration

Teaching demonstrations are artificial—the students aren’t yours, you won’t see them again for follow-up lessons, you might even be “teaching” faculty, etc.—but they are also a critical part of an academic job interview. Candidates for academic positions need to lớn show more than just knowledge of their nội dung area in their teaching demonstration; they need khổng lồ show that they have sầu pedagogical content knowledge. That is, the ability khổng lồ select, structure, và deliver complicated content so that students can learn it. Your teaching demonstration must prove not only that you can create and follow a lesson plan, but also that you can engage and interact with students lớn enhance their learning.

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You’ll want your teaching demonstration to lớn reinforce whatever you’ve said about your teaching in your application materials. For example, if you have said that you create student-centered classrooms and provide students opportunities to lớn actively learn, don"t lecture for the entire time during your demonstration. 

A successful teaching demonstration ultimately comes down lớn careful planning and practice. If you showcase your best teaching during your chạy thử, you’ll go a long way toward convincing the committee that you can handle the challenges of teaching day-to-day. The guidelines và tips below will get you started.  

A. Know your AudienceWill you be teaching a class of actual students, a group of faculty, the hiring committee, or some combination of these three groups?What màn chơi of student should you be preparing for? (E.g., Majors, non-majors, graduate, etc.)If you are teaching a class of actual students, ask for a copy of the course syllabus & any relevant assignments. Read the course description và objectives, and Review a copy of the textbook. It might also help lớn get khổng lồ know the students in general by looking at the university’s trang web and, if possible, by visiting campus & chatting diremni-alive.comy with students. More realistically, you might attkết thúc a class at your current institution on the topic you are going khổng lồ be teaching và then talk with the instructor, the TAs, and the students.If you are teaching to faculty members posing as students, be sure lớn indicate for them the level & background of the students for whom your lesson would be intended, then pretend that the faculty members are those students & teach at the correct level. Expect, however, that faculty might ask questions at a higher cấp độ than would actual students & don’t go overboard with pretending that they are students (e.g., don’t confiscate a cell phone if one of them can’t stop looking at it!). B. Make your Material fit the Course and the TimeIf you’re given a topic to teach in an actual course, find out where that topic fits inkhổng lồ the course itself. What have the students learned beforehand? What will they be learning afterward? What assignments will they be working on? What textbook are the students using? Get a copy & read the relevant sections.If you’ve sầu been given a broad topic area from which to lớn select a particular lesson, choose something that you can manage in the time given.If you’re teaching for a full class period, ayên ổn to kết thúc no more than 5 khổng lồ 10 minutes early for questions. Have sầu a back-up plan in case for any reason you over earlier.If you’re only teaching a short lesson in 10 lớn 15 minutes, choose a topic or lesson that will stvà on its own in that time. Don’t squeeze a 50-minute lecture inkhổng lồ 15 minutes.Plan enough time for any activities you’ll include; they can sometimes run long if not properly planned and managed.C. Engage your StudentsRethành viên, this is your teaching thử nghiệm, not your research talk. Don’t just lecture to lớn the students; show that you can vày something more by engaging them with active sầu learning. Get the students interested, involved, and interacting positively with you và with one another—they might be evaluating you for the committee.Use brief, meaningful activities that last no more than 5-7 minutes each. If you’re teaching faculty members, don’t expect them lớn be any more interested in participating in activities than are students. Create a handout, ask questions.Start with a relevant hook to lớn grab students’ interest (an alarming statistic, a current sự kiện, a thought-provoking question, etc.)If you’re teaching a small group of students, bring index cards và blaông chồng sharpies. Have sầu the students write their names on the cards & mix them up on their desks. Doing so creates an instant connection with students by allowing you to address them by name as you would in a class of your own.D. Use Technology Purposefully & EffectivelyIf you plan to use technology, be sure that it serves some clear and relevant pedagogical aim; don’t use it just lớn impress the committee or lớn show off your techy side. Technology shouldn’t overwhelm the topic you’re teaching, and the contribution that giải pháp công nghệ makes lớn student learning should be obvious & significant. Handouts are often a better alternative sầu to giải pháp công nghệ, since they provide everyone with a concrete takeaway by which to lớn remember you and your demonstration.Use visuals only khổng lồ tư vấn your teaching và promote learning. For example, PowerPoint slides should be used sparingly and should ideally include questions or problems lớn which students can respond. Remember, PowerPoint should support your teaching, it shouldn’t be your centerpiece. If you vì chưng use a PowerPoint, be sure to lớn tell students that you’ll write on the board any key information that you would lượt thích them lớn put in their own notes, otherwise students might try lớn write down everything you have sầu on your slides.In terms of PowerPoint thiết kế, use pictures, colors, and animations, but vày so carefully, và don’t put too much text on any single slide. Choose a light background & dark text, & make sure that the slides are visible in a well-lit room. (You shouldn’t plan khổng lồ use PowerPoint slides in a darkened room unless you want khổng lồ put students to lớn sleep.)Use the board only if your handwriting is good. When writing on the board, don’t speak to it. That is, face the students and say whatever you want them to hear, & then turn and write it on the board. Doing so maintains your connection with the students và gives them an opportunity khổng lồ copy down what you write.Plan for technology khổng lồ break down. Have an alternative sầu plan.

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E. Have sầu a Backup Plan. Have sầu Another.Create your ikhuyến mãi lesson plan, a contingency plan in case you run out of time, a contingency plan in case you finish early and have sầu too much time remaining, a contingency plan in case students simply don’t respond or if things are otherwise not working out as intended. Plan for giải pháp công nghệ khổng lồ fail and know what you’ll bởi vì if và when it does.Plan more material than you can possible use, and make decisions in the moment about what to lớn leave out. Don’t indicate to lớn your students, however, that you’re cutting something out due khổng lồ time constraints. F. Practice. Practice. Practice.Whether you’ve sầu taught before or not, you can ask colleagues or mentors for the opportunity lớn lead a session in their classes. Ask them khổng lồ observe sầu your session & provide feedbachồng. Alternately, gather some colleagues, perhaps from different disciplines, to serve as a group of students whom you can teach. Have sầu them ask you questions just like actual students would. After the lesson, have your colleagues bình luận on your flow, on the way your topics connected with each other, on your body toàn thân language và any verbal or physical tics you might have, và, of course, on how you might improve your overall performance.If you have sầu taught before, Đánh Giá any observation reports you may have sầu from colleagues or mentors, as well as evaluation feedbaông xã from students. Consider what has worked well and what hasn’t. What improvements can you realistically make và practice before your demonstration?Helpful Tips & HintsAlặng to lớn be relaxed & confident in your demonstration, but also plan to lớn show your enthusiasm & passion for the topic.Remember that you want your demonstration lớn be accessible to the intended audience, as well as factually or procedurally accurate và also clearly effective in terms of student learning.Show respect for students and that you lượt thích working with them. Acknowledge their contributions & thank them for participating.Don’t let talkative sầu students sidetraông chồng you. Indicate that you are glad they are interested, but that you need to continue the class. Ask them khổng lồ stay after to lớn discuss the material with you.Consider providing students và the committee with suggested follow-up assignments or next steps khổng lồ show that you are aware of that teaching is a continuum, not a once-off intervention.If you use graphs or other data visualizations, don’t let them speak for themselves. Instead, get students lớn respond khổng lồ these visualizations. For example, orient students khổng lồ a graph by briefly explaining what it shows, then pose questions about the graph & ask students lớn interpret it in some way lớn get students involved.Push yourself to lớn demonstrate your best teaching, but don’t try a technique or technology with which you’re not yet completely comfortable.Questions lớn Consider as You Begin Planning your Teaching Demonstration

Don’t be afraid lớn ask the committee for details và clarification about your demonstration. At the same time, you need to ask yourself a number of important questions as you get started. The danh sách below should help get you going.

Ask the committee:

How much time will I have? A whole class period or only 10 to 20 minutes?Whom will I be teaching? Actual students or faculty posing as students?At what level should my teaching be aimed? Majors? Non-majors? Graduate?Will a topic and/or materials be provided, or should I select a topic and/or materials on my own?If a topic is provided and if I’m teaching in an actual course, how does the topic fit into the course in relation khổng lồ other topics? Can I get a copy of the syllabus? What textbook vày the students use? Have sầu students been given any homework? If so, what? Can I get a copy of the assignment materials?Where will I be teaching? What sorts of công nghệ or other resources are available?How & by whom will my teaching be evaluated? If I’m teaching actual students, will they provide any feedbachồng lớn the committee?

Ask yourself:

Examni-alive.comy what information, và how much of it, vị I want to convey in the time I have?What approach is most appropriate for the topic, the students, and the institution itself? Will I mostly lecture or will I involve sầu students in a discussion or an activity?Do I want to lớn use technology? If so, what will that technology add to my kiểm tra in terms of helping students learn? Am I comfortable using the technology that is available?Reference & Resources

The mni-alive.com offers a workshop on preparing & delivering an effective teaching demonstration. Watch a recording of the spring 20trăng tròn webinar facilitated by Dr. Debbie Herold where she provides several strategies and guidelines for a successful teaching demonstration. Panelists Dr. Katherine Adams & graduate student Matt Walsh mô tả their experiences of having given teaching demonstrations recently with tips to lớn prepare for and navigate the unexpected challenges that may arise during the demonstration!

For more information about teaching demonstrations, liên hệ Jessica Alexander (alexjess

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