Not an easy job afterall: Are You Scared of Your Students?

Just saw this interesting article today.  I thought being a teaching faculty might be a little bit easier than being a research faculty. But it seems like tons of small things that we’ve never thought of may make them feel helpless and even scared when facing with their students.

In class, I remember we have discussed about different types of faculty in the university. As we know in the US, some universities have both teaching and research professors and some may only have research professors. At graduate school, in my opinion, PhD students got a lot of training on research but no one teaches us how to teach, or give us opportunity to really teach the whole course as an instructor (at least in some department). Fortunately, VT has an organization like Academy of Teaching Excellence which provides seminar and workshops for students who are interested in teaching. However, for those PhD students who spend most of his time on research as a RA and aim to becoming a research faculty, they may not be able to spend extra time at graduate school to participate teaching related activities.  Once they really become a professor, they might not be able to teach well due to lack of experiences.  Many issues mentioned in the reference may much easily happen as well.

Based on my experience, a good scholar might not be a good teacher. For grad students who wants to become a professor, I hope the university should provide more opportunities and pay more attention on improving students’ teaching skill. In addition, as educational environment becomes more and more culturally diverse, more in-depth understanding for each culture and its influence is essential for everyone in higher education.


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