How to combine your PhD with teaching: a discussion.

What is the right balance between my doctoral studies and my teaching commitment? Why aren’t students participating? Am I doing something wrong? How can I make sure I am explaining in a clear way? Is it normal to feel ignored in class? How do I interact with students coming from different educational systems? What support can I find? How do I optimally prepare for teaching?

If any of these questions crossed your mind at least once during term time: CONGRATULATIONS you are a teacher! And, luckily:

  1. You are not alone in this
  2. We can help! Book your place via Sussex Direct.

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Teaching is one of the most challenging activities faced by researchers in the early stages of their careers. It doesn’t matter if you taught in the past or you are just starting: you will always have some questions or doubts on what is the best approach to face a new challenge.

Here at the University of Sussex PhD students who are also teaching have plenty of support: even if sometimes you don’t know where to look for it. This is why the Research Hive is organising an event on the teaching journey as part of our Doctoral Discussions series of events focussed on peer support for doctoral researchers.  We will have a series of blog posts/ interviews/ discussions on a range of issues.

Our first event is going to be a Doctoral Discussion on “Journey to Teaching”.

Friday, 17th March 2017 at 12pm

Barlow Room (Library)

Guest speaker: Dr. Liz Sage

This is meant to be an informal discussion with a peer-to-peer approach structure. We will have some speakers, among which Dr. Liz Sage, sharing their experience on how they went through different phases of their teaching experiences, and the discussion will be open to any participant questions or doubts. The talk will be organised as follows, but we will try to keep it as informal as possible for everyone to feel comfortable (having food while we discuss should also help with that-lunch is provided !):

  • Introduction of the talk by the Hive Scholars
  • Guest speaker: Liz Sage to talk about the main phases of her teaching career (from AT to Convenor). Liz is the convenor of the modules Starting to Teach and Teaching and Learning Experience at Sussex series. She has a long experience of teaching and will be very happy to answer all of your questions.
  • PhD guest speakers: PhD/AT students discussing the main challenges of teaching. We will have PhD students from different schools and at different stages of their PhD to share the crucial moments of their teaching journey.
  • Q&A

We will be talking about :

  • teaching while doing a full-time PhD or a part-time PhD
  • teaching to international students
  • starting to teach/ teaching during your last year
  • authority problems for young ATs/ female ATs
  • making yourself clear when teaching
  • dealing with large number of students/ not-participative students/ demotivated students

It will be a very dynamic and interactive discussion, that will help you become more aware of the support you can find as a PhD/AT within the University of Sussex. You will hopefully leave the discussion feeling more confident about your capabilities as a teacher, and more aware of the concerns you should be addressing (before and) in your seminar class.

We look forward to seeing you on Friday!



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