How to Prepare for your Teaching Demonstration

When applying for faculty positions in Canada passion plays a key role during your teaching demonstration. The committee will first consider obvious criteria including a dissertation and publications. However, approaching your interview with a blasé attitude will indicate you might lack what it takes to engage your students and increase interest in participation in your courses. A boring teacher can mean lower numbers and this can affect your desirability as a member of the faculty. Once you make it past the interview you are only half way there. How you prepare for your teaching demonstration can make all the difference.

Prepare with Questions

Before you can prepare for your teaching demonstration you have to acquire as much information as possible on what is expected of you. Sometimes you will be given close to zero information to help guide you which can make it challenging to come up with a well-suited demonstration. See if you can get a copy of the syllabus and look into every detail possible, such as where you will be presenting your demonstration, the size of the room and to whom you will be presenting. Sometimes you will be assigned an actual class but in many cases you may be presenting to the committee or even a selection of students not necessarily related to the course in question. It is also important to understand what tools are available as in some cases AV equipment might be required. You don’t want to prepare an entire demonstration based on a slide presentation only to discover the equipment required is not available. If possible ask for a topic or suggest a topic so that you are clear what you present will be acceptable. Also nail down an expected length so you do not ramble on unnecessarily or worse not have enough information to make a good impression.

Mock Class versus Real

It can be more challenging to present in front of a mock class than presenting to actual students as sometimes the criteria is less clear. In the case of a mock presentation prepare a short explanation to cover why you are doing your demo using the techniques you have chosen, what you are covering and then begin the “class”. Real students will not require anything other than a quick introduction of yourself and then you can launch into the teaching demonstration using whatever procedure you would for a real classroom situation. Being prepared will help win you faculty positions in Canada.

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