Tips for Transitioning to Faculty Member

August 28th, 2013 Contact: Clair McClure  |  706-542-8447  | More about Clair

Often the graduate school will host informal brown bag discussions open to all grad students. These are a great resource and you even get to bring your lunch! One of the discussions focused on transitioning from student to faculty member. As Ph.D. students and even some M.S. students we may find ourselves seeking a career in academia.

What a strange transition to go from attending class and writing papers to teaching classes and grading papers??

Thanks to the UGA graduate school for hosting this event and Sylvia Hutchinson and Gary Green for answering all of our questions.

Tips from the Brown Bag Discussion:

  • Don’t leave your interview with any questions about your required responsibilities unanswered. It is your interview.
  • If you don’t know the rules of the game you can’t win, so understand where the bar is set at the university or college you are interviewing at.
  • Try to give yourself some time between finishing school and your new job. Take that time to find out what you’ll be teaching and prepare your notes and PPT presentations.
  • If you feel uncomfortable teaching a class, ask if you can co-teach or borrow notes and readings from someone who has taught the course before you.
  • Co-teaching gives you a good arsenal of classes you COULD possibly teach in the future.
  • Pick a good mentor for teaching and research and ask your mentor what you should volunteer for in your first year. You don’t want to take on too much or your teaching and research may suffer.
  • Try to answer the question: Are you teaching because you want to do research or do you do research because you want to teach? This will help you determine what you want out of your career and who you are in the classroom.

These brown bag events are great opportunities for grad students to ask uninhibited questions and come away with great info. The tips above are only a snippet of what was discussed during this event. Make sure to get yourself to the next brown bag!

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