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Preparing to Teach for the First Time

Have you been invited to teach a course for the very first time and wondering where to begin? Staff from the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center are available to meet with you and further discuss any questions you might have about teaching. In addition, center staff host monthly workshops on a wide variety of teaching and teaching with technology topics available to all NIU faculty, staff, and graduate teaching assistants.

Below are a few questions to consider about your upcoming teaching assignment. Answers to these questions will help raise awareness of what you need to know and do as a new instructor.

  • Has this class been taught before and will you have access to the syllabus, PowerPoint lectures, class activities, handouts, assignments, assessments, etc.?
  • How often does the course meet and how long is each class period?
  • Is there a lab section of the course?
  • How do you plan to teach course content? (e.g., lecture, discussions, group work, case studies, simulations, projects, guest presenters)
  • Are you planning to use Blackboard?
  • How do you plan to integrate your years of professional expertise with the course content?
  • Will you have a graduate assistant?

Resources

Below are selected resources which may be helpful when preparing to teach:

Instructional Guide for University Faculty and Teaching Assistants

Advice to New Teachers and New Students: Learning is a Quest

Strategies for Starting the Semester Well

Timely Tips for New College Teachers

10 Terrible Mistakes College Teachers Make