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  • Read scholarly book #1
  • Read scholarly book #2
  • Catch up on professional journals
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  • Write two final exams
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Monday, March 27, 2006

Teaching demonstration

Blogging will be light or nonexistant for the next several days as I prepare for my campus visit later this week: Decent Regional U wants me to do both a teaching demonstration and a job talk (and all the usual individual and committee interviews), and so far I've done next to nothing on either.

I'm nervous about both, in the way that I'm nervous before I put together any performance (whether it's a conference paper or a class discussion), but I know that once I have a plan sketched out this anxiety will lift. And I have to say that if I can pull off my teaching demo, it's going to totally rock. I'm not teaching a full class, but rather am charged with taking half or two-thirds of the period to introduce the students to something a) relevant to my research interests, and b) relevant to their class (but which need not have anything to do with what they're reading for the day).

The class in question is the course that people in my field teach year after year, and that I'm teaching myself right now at Big Urban. As some of you know, however, my scholarship involves neither this author nor this genre, so when I received my instructions, I had a moment of panic. The work they're currently reading does touch on some political issues that interest me, but it does so mostly in difficult, obscure passages that aren't likely to set a room of undergraduates on fire, if you know what I'm saying.

Instead, I've come up with a very interactive, very show-and-tell-y presentation that I think--hope!--will be engaging and accessible while adding some new and important dimensions to the work they've done so far. The only problem? I've been madly flagging pages to photocopy and downloading images from the internet, and I fear I'm going to wind up with a thousand and one handouts.

Actually, there's another problem: as cool as I think this project is, I'm embarrassed that I haven't covered this same material (except very briefly) with my own students. I guess this just goes to show how cool a teacher I could be, if only I always had this much lead time and this much at stake.

link | posted by La Lecturess at 3:11 PM |


Blogger theartofdistance commented at 4:09 PM~  

i know what you mean about not having time to prepare cool things for your own students... i just prepared a short guest lecture that i'm giving in a colleague's class and it covers material i've taught before, but never in such a fun/cool way because i never had the extra prep time (well... i could have extra prep time if i was really really motivated)

anyway, good luck with the demonstration/interview

Blogger Hieronimo commented at 4:36 PM~  

Good luck! I hope you get it.

Blogger Hieronimo commented at 4:38 PM~  

P.S. The fact that the course is on the major figure in your field, but that you don't work on him(?), can be a real plus for your chances. You get to show in your job talk that you are doing cutting-edge and non-canonical stuff, but show in your teaching demonstration that you can handle the basics of the curriculum and understand that undergrads need to learn things that don't always align with your research interests. A perfect way to demonstrate your professionalism and savvy, I think.

Anonymous What Now? commented at 8:41 PM~  

Best of luck -- I'm sure you'll do fabulously, and I'll keep you in my prayers at the end of this week.

Blogger medieval woman commented at 9:52 PM~  

Really good luck on your visit! I had to do a couple of teaching demos this round on the market and it is far more draining than the actual job talk (which you can use several times) - I second Hieronimo's observation about the canonical author being a chance for you to show your breadth - it's always a little better to show you can do the staple stuff in teaching...

In keeping with the whole "performance" motif - break a leg!

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