How To Be an Effective Graduate Instructor. Modified from a Collection Compiled by Tom Drummond North Seattle Community College. An effective graduate instructor. is enthusiastic. avoids being cynical and negative. has appropriate expectations of their students .
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Modified from a Collection Compiled by Tom Drummond North Seattle Community College
avoids being cynical and negative.
has appropriate expectations of their students.
is sensitive and even-handed.
remembers that she or he is now part of the teaching staff, not a student in teaching labs and recitations.
talks to the students about educational goals.
helps your students learn to be flexible.
stresses the chemical principles.
does not quarrel with the course materials or course organization.
does not do anything that might be even remotely interpreted as sexual harassment!
First impressions are important.
Be on time.
Be prepared. A problem may look simple and straightforward, but ...
Dress casualty but neatly.
Wear a watch.
Learn your students' names as quickly as possible.
Speak clearly and loudly and write legibly on the board.
Recitation should be a discussion, not a lecture.
Encourage all students to participate.
Do not to let one or two students dominate every discussion.
Get feedback from your class concerning what they need from you.
Encourage discussion by asking effective questions.
If necessary, say, "I don't know," and find the answer before the next class session.
Come to class with a few relatively challenging conceptual questions to get the students active in class.
Ask if your students have questions.
If they don’t, ask some of your own.
With one exception, none of these questions asks for recall of facts or information.
After posing a question, give your students at least 5 seconds to understand it and begin the formulation of an answer.
All teaching moves learners into areas of risk and incompetence. So the job of an instructor often is to find potential when it is easier to notice problems.
The best rewards promote personal reflection and independence, and they actually work. Effective teachers support emerging initiative, cooperation and perseverance with well-timed positives
The times when an instructor should correct performance are often the most difficult as well as the most significant. People naturally tend to become defensive, confused, or ashamed when criticized or given advice. Yet individualized correction is often the key to improved performance. An effective feedback procedure should enable reflection and self-correction without fostering hostility or defensiveness.
Where possible, give feedback individually, not in front of a group.
Avoid trite questions. Questions about things which are obvious are best left out of a discussion. Don't insult the intelligence of your students!
Types of questions which do not promote discussion are, "Right?" "Any questions?" and questions which can be answered by a simple "Yes" or "No."
Wait! Wait a few seconds before calling on someone for a response. This will give everyone a chance to think about the answer. If students are asked to respond too quickly, they may freeze, and not be able to think of the answer. Waiting also indicates to the students that you really expect a thoughtful response.
Select specific respondents. Call on students by name. This will allow more people to contribute to the discussion and will prevent eager-beavers from monopolizing the discussion.
Distribute questions. Feel free to call on anyone in the class, including those who do not have their hands up. Shy students may never involve themselves in a discussion unless they are prompted. Further, if students know they might be called on, they tend to spend more time in preparation for class.
Listen to the response. If you have an answer in mind, you may not recognize a different but equally correct response.
Reinforce responses. See Responding. Even for wrong answers, try to reinforce the act of responding.
Use the students. Students can sometimes explain complex phenomena or problems in novel ways. They may do a better job than a TA of explaining material on the level of their peers.
Discourage guessing. Make it clear to your students that the thought process they use is more important than the answer.