Getting your first course instructor contract can be a bit like seeing an iceberg. At first, you just see the tip. It’s big, it’s beautiful, and you are in awe. But your first course instructorship can also be challenging. Below the surface are the rest of the responsibilities and expectations. Keeping your focus on the tip of the iceberg and appreciating the important work of teaching while not being too worried about the rest of the iceberg is not always easy, but it is possible. It may be helpful to remember that, aside from the administrative responsibilities, student learning is our main teaching goal.
But if you are feeling overwhelmed, you are not alone. Even the most seasoned teacher routinely faces new obstacles. When that happens, there are many resources on campus that you can use. For example, experienced teachers in your department can provide invaluable insight into your new teaching role. The Teaching Assistants’ Training Program (TATP) is also here to guide you through your first course or your seventh and to show you how, despite feeling overwhelmed at the outset, you can be a successful teacher that creates a student-centred teaching practice.
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Created by Sandy Carpenter, TATP Course Instructor Coordinator © 2017