Balancing One's Life
How do I balance my life as a "teacher" and grad student?
- Don't reinvent the wheel all the time. Ask for help. Share ideas and material
with other GTFs as much as possible. An efficient way to do this is through
a listserv - especially for GTFs who are all leading discussion groups for
the same course. Share the handouts you develop, the teaching ideas (roleplays,
simulations, small group activities that actually work well, etc.). Share
your criteria for grading so that there is as much consistency as possible
across sections. Some GTFs create a "community website" as a common resource
for a course.
- Draw a line in a reasonable place. Accept the fact that your role as a graduate
student means you will not have the luxury to invest as much time into your
teaching as you want. This can become difficult. The more you get to know
your students, the more you will want to extend yourself to help them be successful.
One rule of thumb is to care as much as they do about their success in the
course and not more.
- Accept that some things will not be perfect or even smooth. This is easier said than done. The most experienced teacher has an off day. Learn from your mistakes. Identify them early and get help. That's what the Teaching Effectiveness Program is all about - helping you be successful.