If you want to teach students the beauty of sea level change, you first have to learn how to tie a full Windsor. This week Roland’s sea level course starts, and I’ll assist him, and in order to do that (and other things, such as taking students to Ireland in March, which is likely to happen) I enrolled in a teaching course. During my last appraisal talk with Roland this had been decided on. And it would take place every Thursday morning; the first one I had almost forgotten, so I came in late, but after that mishap I was quite involved.
This course is meant as an introductory course for PhD students who’ll be teaching, and the odd postdoc who has either managed to avoid, or not managed to acquire, teaching tasks so far. And we’re from all over university. And not only that; also from all over the world. And from all sorts of birth years.
We started with introducing ourselves, and then things kicked off. We discussed different educative styles, planning a lecture, learning in groups, values in teaching, how to give a presentation, and what not. I seem to not ever be in the position to be in bed early on a Wednesday, so I’m always tired, but I never feel it. I think I’m learning useful stuff! And it’s fun, too.
So where does the full Windsor come in? We are asked to all give a short presentation on a topic which is not our work. And as I write this I’ve seen three; the first lady disclosed the world of South American carnivorous plants. The next talk was a guy explaining us the rules of rugby. Helps me integrate in British society! And the third was a guy who, indeed, taught us how to tie a tie into a full Windsor knot. And I already knew how to, but still, I was kept on the edge of my seat. Blimey that guy can present. I hope he’ll never try to sell me anything!
Anyway. Yesterday, a Sunday, I spent quite some time writing my own presentation. On mine exploration. A surprise? And when that was more or less done I made one on cognitive information processing; a group assignment we have to do too. And I marked two essays. This week we’ll be discussing how to make sure different teachers would mark students’ work the same. They keep me busy. And I learn unexpected things along the way...
I think this really is a step towards growing up to become a proper, all-round academic. Bring in the students!