Teaching

Last week I did my first teaching session as a professional librarian. It… was ok, I suppose? I shared the teaching with my colleague as she’s more familiar with the sessions than I am, so it was an opportunity for me to ease into teaching before going it alone at the end of the month.

The session was about bibliometrics, which is one of my main responsibilities, and involved a mixture of talking to the students, demonstrating websites to them, and getting them to have a go themselves. I did a lot of the talking bits, while my colleague did the demonstrations. I’m feeling a bit ambivalent about my “performance”; there were a couple of moments where my mouth ran away with itself, leaving my brain to catch up, making some of my explanations of statistics a little bit more jumbled than I would have liked. I think I could have been a lot clearer about what exactly some of the things I was talking about actually were, to make it all sound a bit less confusing. My worst bit was when I forgot I was talking about the Journal Impact Factor, which is a specific number calculated in a specific way, and started to talk about characteristics of journals which can be measured and demonstrated (but not necessarily by using the JIF).

The feedback forms from the session were positive, though, which I suppose is the main thing. I think my problem was that this is the first time I’ve ever given a presentation that I didn’t write (or co-write) myself, and therefore I didn’t know the material as thoroughly as I usually do. I don’t think it was actually a bad session, it just wasn’t as easy or polished as I’m used to. It’s just reinforced to me that I really need to learn the material and make sure I’m 100% familiar with it in time for my sessions in a couple of weeks’ time. Wish me luck!

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Teaching

  1. I’m sure you were fab! 🙂

    I really understand about not feeling confident about teaching material you haven’t put together yourself. I did a lot of that at MMU and still do some here. I generally run through it a couple of times and also make sure I speak to the person I am teaching with/whoever put it together…I also make copious notes! It’s the best way I’ve found to deal with it.

    You’ll be fine delivering your own material, though. Good luck!

    K

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