Rubbish teacher

I was rubbish this afternoon.

I’m almost brand-spanking new at this teaching thing – I demonstrate software to four classes over two days and this is my third day ever – and am acutely aware that I’ve had no training in how to teach. I’ve always been a ‘just wing it’ kind of person, but that’s not cutting it anymore.

I’m teaching them how to build a website using Dreamweaver. While I was explaining each step to the afternoon class, they all went ahead with the handouts and did the exercise, and because I was explaining the different options I was always a few steps behind them, feeling like tits on a donkey. (Gawd, would you listen to me whine? Some people have real problems, you know.)

Obviously, after the class finished my brain-bulb flashed: der, you should have just said, ‘oh, I see you’re all going ahead with the handouts, does anyone need me to explain these steps?’ Stupidly simple, but like I said, I’m very new to this.

This whole thing is a learning experience.

I think tomorrow I’ll guard the handouts until it’s time for them to do the exercise. Ha ha, take that go-aheaders!

11 responses to “Rubbish teacher

  1. give then the handouts and tell them to get started. Pop out for a coffee and by the time you get back they will be busting to ask questions

    this is why i don’t teach…

  2. The best thing about teaching is how much you learn while doing it. There is no such thing as the perfect teacher. A good teacher does just what you have done – s/he looks at what works and what doesn’t work at the end of each session. Keep at it NwN, you’re doing great.

    • Aw, thanks Caveat Calcei. It’s a pretty steep learning curve at this stage of the game. It’s unlikely they’ll ever use Dreamweaver after this subject, so if I’m a really crap teacher it won’t matter, right? Thing is, those worksheets they had today were very self-explanatory, with each step illustrated, so they didn’t really need me anyway.

  3. Although really, what am I complaining about? That I have a group of students who don’t need me to hold their hands through the early stages of a program? Or that it’s been so long since I’ve had a job that challenges me, that my first response to it is, ‘I’m not instantly perfect at this so I should quit’?

  4. Hi there, I’m pretty new to your blog and I noticed your post about struggling with teaching. I hold a degree in high school teaching, as well as a Cert IV in workplace training and assessment. However, I absolutely loath teaching for so many reasons, so I can understand your frustration a little…

    First up, what age group are the students? If they are adults, or even young adults, they tend to go a bit bitter if you structure your course to be _mostly_ self-guided. This means you pretty much just have to map out the territory generally with a learning-goal structure, and then let them just go for it themselves. Of course there’s more to it than that, but that core principle really is the foundation to teaching adults.

    If they are younger, well you’ve got a whole different ball game on your hands – any research you can do into the area of pedagogy will really help. Unfortunately, too many of us are just thrown into the deep end with no time to prep, often teaching stuff that’s half-useless at best. Anyway, don’t get me started… 🙂

    Best of luck!

    • Hi Mark Dollin, welcome to the News with Nipples. Did you discover you hated teaching after getting all those qualifications? Or somewhere along the way?

      They’re third-year uni students. I like them. I’m just not comfortable teaching yet, so any advice is wonderful. I’m going in untrained (the uni has a tutor development program but I’m not in it yet) and teaching a program I’m not an expert with. So I just feel very green.

  5. I bored you with all the details, but I got lots of hints along the way I wasn’t suited to teaching. It was confirmed when I was out there doing the job. Long demented story…

    3rd year uni students are definitely classed as adult learns, and hence learn best with self directed learning, with added mentoring along the way. Lots of links on Google, so here’s one: http://www.selfdirectedlearning.com/SDLProgram.html – Any Cert IV in training will cover this stuff. Far too many academics know too little about this model, and forever persist in boring students to death with 50 minute lectures.

    • Thanks for that link. Luckily I’m not lecturing at this stage, just demonstrating software. I think I’m actually going to be a good teacher, I’m just groping in the dark a little at the moment.

  6. I can’t help going ahead with the handout either; I wanted to chime in to say holding the handouts hostage wold probably be a good idea 😛

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