Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Lunch with the New Hire

I just had lunch with a colleague who is leaving non-TT work with us for a TT position.

I'm so happy for hir!  The new job sounds good, and zie sounds happy, but realistic about the hard work ahead.

Last fall, our chair offered assistance with application letters and so forth to folks who wanted to move from non-TT here to TT somewhere else.  This colleague took the chair up on the offer.  And when zie got an interview (which turned into several interviews), folks in the department stepped up to do a mock research talk with hir and mock phone and campus visit interviews.

I feel good about how our department (and especially our chair) helped this person with job market preparation.

We also have someone who got their MA a while back, who's been adjuncting for us, who decided to move on to a PhD program.  And I know some folks were really helpful to hir in preparing letters of application as well.

The new hire and I chatted for a bit over the congratulatory lunch, and I learned what zie found most useful in our help (job letter help, mock interview, mock research presentation, and mock campus visit interview), and what zie could have used more help with (preparing for the teaching demo).

My question now is how to help folks prepare for a teaching demo?



  1. Maybe a good thing to do is to go over the different ways a teaching demo can go. For instance, I had to teach Romeo and Juliet (not my choice) for my teaching demo, and I had to teach the entire hour and 15 minutes. I know others who have had to teach 20 minutes. And still others who taught for 50 minutes on their own research. Knowing that there are multiple ways to do teaching demos might inspire some anxiety, but at least you'd be prepared for anything.

    Also, I think it's good practice for the candidate to contact the person whose class s/he is teaching in order to get a feel for how the class normally works and what to expect of the students. I did that, and it was helpful.

    This sounds like a huge boost for your colleague! I seriously wish I had had such good mentoring! Kudos to you all!

  2. Teaching demos are a nightmare, unfair, and a waste of time. One can get a perfectly good idea of a candidate's teaching skills and approach in their job talk.

    That said, Fie's advice is as good as I have. Make sure the job candidate asks a lot of questions about the class, about the department's expectations for a teaching demo (length, subject if you must teach it in someone else's class, etc.).

  3. Good for your department -- well done, all of you!