Advice for new university instructors

The first semester you teach a university-level course, you will likely be thrown in with little preparation or guidance. This is the experience of almost everyone I have spoken with.

Professor lecturing 450

Whether you are a graduate student, a starting assistant professor, or an industry professional teaching as an adjunct, I want to summarize the advice I have developed over 8 semesters teaching as a grad student. This is geared toward STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) topics.

This isn’t intended to address pedagogical theories—that’s an enormous topic in comparison to what I can cover here. Instead, this is more of an overview of the things I think would be helpful tips that no one is going to tell you, a behind-the-scenes look at what your next actions should be after you are hired to teach a course.

The 30,000 ft perspective

Before you start

Planning Lectures

Delivering Lectures


In Conclusion

The above stream of consciousness probably only scratches the surface of things you might want to consider at the onset of your teaching career. Good luck!