Teaching as a PhD Student


This article is all about what it’s like to teach as a PhD student. Different programs have different requirements, but there are still some basic things that you need to know. My program requires that all doctoral students teach one class online as a Section Instructor and one class in person as the Instructor of Record (meaning that grading and teaching material is only delivered by you). I have had the opportunity to teach a few courses to MSW students, and here is what I have learned:

Have confidence. One of the most important things to have when teaching a course is confidence. Your students should not expect you to be well-versed in everything, but you do have to show them that you can stand up in front of them and deliver the content that they need. If they sense that you are lacking in confidence, they can try to use that against you later.

Have fun. Yes you should try to have fun when working with your students. You should be able to walk away having learned something, not just your students. It’s okay to let your guard down a little, admit when you made a mistake, and joke during class.

Be consistent. This is equally important and can set the tone for the rest of the class. You need to be sure that what you promised your students, you follow through on, and what you set as the requirements of the class, you keep those the same throughout the duration of the course. Students will find the holes in your policies, so give yourself a break by dealing with those before it is too late.

Get support. If this is your first time teaching, especially, you should look to your peers and to faculty in the department for support during teaching. You can ask for support with a variety of things, such as conflicts that may arise with students. Getting advice from a more experienced person is key.

Have more questions about teaching as a PhD student? I have answers. Click HERE to speak with me TODAY!

Photo by Ivan Aleksic on Unsplash

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