Hi! I instruct a group exercise leadership course at a technical college. The course curriculum does include book/lecture components but I am looking to amp up the class this semester and incorporate more practical hands on assignments/activities. Thinking back to when you first started teaching, what do you feel would be a helpful activity to help better prepare you to instruct a class? Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
Experience. Of all the things I did to prepare for a class, none of them taught me as much or gave me more tools for teaching than what I learned when actually teaching classes. It would have been nice to get to do that in a supportive educational environment. But the added pressure of doing it “for real” made me pay more attention to what was happening. Mistakes were more apparent, what did and didn’t work was obvious. But I also had a healthy strong sense of self. I am not afraid to fail or admit when I do. Learn and adapt, then move on.
I teach and have taught instructors. I think one of my best methods is to assign them to design a class by a certain date and then randomly pick a student to teach their class every few days. They all know they will have to teach their class, but not exactly when. And I tell them that the students who teach the first few get a few bonus points because going first is harder than having the benefit of seeing the common rookie mistakes to avoid later. That helps them relax a little I think.