Concerns of Young Mathematicians
Volume 2 Issue 10
March 16, 1994
An electronically distributed digest
for discussions of the issues of concern to mathematicians at the
beginning of their careers.
PLEASE FORWARD TO ANY POTENTIALLY INTERESTED
To subscribe: Send mail to Charles Yeomans at
firstname.lastname@example.org Back issues and other information are
available via anonymous FTP to ftp.ms.uky.edu, in
Suggestion for Prospective Hirees:
By Dr. Fred Worth
Be Prepared to Teach a Class
If you are applying to teach at a school where the main emphasis
is teaching you will likely be asked to teach an actual class. It
would appear obvious (but apparently isn't) that you should do the
very best you can to do an exceptional job during that class.
Three years ago, when I was interviewing, I taught a class. I had
taught the material before so it was familiar to me. But I still
worked very hard to prepare for it so I would not have to
frequently look at notes and so it would be clear that I knew what
I was doing. After the class I had several students tell me I had
done a very good job teaching. A couple of the faculty observing
said the same thing. The next day I got a call offering the job.
I believe the work at teaching well paid off.
A couple of things to consider.
- When you are told you are going to teach be sure to find
out as specifically as possible what it is you are going to teach.
Find out what book you are going to use.
- Don't stray very far from the text. Students often don't
like that and, remember, it is someone else's class.
- Be prepared for questions. I was not told to ask for
questions on homework but I had several students ask questions
during the lecture and some were not easy questions.
- Prepare ahead of time. If you have taught the material
before you know what you need to do. If you haven't, get a friend
or two to listen to your lecture. Encourage them to be honest with
you. Last year I got to participate in this process from the
faculty end. We had three people come in. Two did an excellent job
teaching and the other did a poor job. Afterwards no one even
bothered to look at the credentials (which were excellent) of the
candidate who taught poorly.
- Be yourself during the lecture. If you try to be someone else
you will come off as fake. I like to use humor (or at least what
I consider humor) when I teach. So when I was doing my interview
lecture I did the same thing. The class obviously enjoyed it and
I noticed the observing faculty laugh, too (fortunately at the
times I intended).
- If you don't want to work at a teaching-emphasis school,
that will very likely come out in your presentation.
There are many other suggestions which could be made but
these can help a lot.
Dr. Fred Worth
Henderson State University
Arkadelphia AR 71999-0001
Send comments and suggestions to: email@example.com
Back to Fred Worth's Home Page.
Date Last Modified - 9/21/98
Disclaimer Page - "The views and opinions expressed in this
page are strictly those of the page author. The contents of this
page have not been reviewed or approved by Henderson State