Becoming a lecturer

When I was younger, after I wanted to be a florist, a designer, a paleontologist (thanks, Jurassic Park) or an archaeologist (like Indiana Jones), I then decided that  I was going to teach history. I didn’t know at that time that there is almost no opportunity to really have a teaching position in Cegep or University, sadly. All that to say that I when I was asked if I want to be a co-lecturer next summer, even if I have doubts about my abilities to do so, I was thrilled. Then, I discovered what that position implied.

First of all, I now regret to have thrown away without regard all these syllabus professors gave me over the years. All the thinking and planning and writing behind this little pile of paper! The lectures’ subjects, the different evaluations: everything needs to be carefully weighed in order to assure that the class will go well and the student will have many chances to use their knowledge. The first draft of the syllabus we made was re-re-re-done and is still in process.

On the other side, all the time devoted to the syllabus is not used to really prepare the lectures, which is taking even more time. The preparation and stress to make good oral presentation during my undergraduate studies now look like a little summer walk on the beach. I have to read, read, read, summarize, read again and try to make a full picture – but not too deep – of a topic; then prepare an appealing Power Point. And repeat all that all over again 10 times. Adding to this, I have to find small activities in order to get the students active during the lecture, or, easier way, good YouTube short videos.

So… I will now stop writing about the lectures and actually go get some work done. I didn’t get the chance to be a florist or paleontologist, but I want to take the (probably) only chance I have to teach to really enjoy it. I will keep you post about lecturing this summer…if I have time!

Banner image by @christinekts // @gradlifemcgill


4 thoughts on “Becoming a lecturer

  1. What’s the difference between a co-lecturer and a TA, in your experience? (I’ve never being either of them, I only did “teaching demos” because some of my PhD courses required “teaching demos” instead of the usual class presentations… so the world of TAing and co-lecturing is still unknown to me…).
    Thank you.


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