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Teacher Training Before (or During) Classics PhD Programs?

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Hello, all!

     I just wanted to get an idea of whether any of you had any teacher training (or were teachers beforehand) before you went into your Classics PhD programs? I have a few questions about this:

If you were a teacher beforehand, which grade(s) did you teach and was it difficult to transition to higher education? If you were a community college instructor, was it difficult to transition to 4-year college/university teaching or was it relatively the same?

If you weren't a teacher beforehand but you had training for teaching, what type of training was it? A certificate program? An intensive over the summer? Did this include an in-person teaching experience requirement? 

For those of you who got training during your Classics PhD, what type of training was it? Was it optional or mandatory? Were there opportunities to get certification/training through the education department that ended with some kind of separate teaching credential? 

Finally, for anyone who didn't have or receive any training before they had to complete a teaching component of the PhD, how did you handle it? Did you seek out outside training or assistance? Guidance from upperclassmen in your program? 

 

I'm really curious to know about this before I begin to apply to PhD programs for the next season, so any advice/information/recommendations for programs (preferably online or 1-2 week intensives since I work full-time) in instruction or teaching would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance 😄

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So I went into a Master's, not a PhD, with no sort of teaching training. In my experience, we got a week long orientation centered around teaching before school started, and then during our first semester we had to take a teaching practicum, which essentially goes over different methods for teaching languages. I know that most PhD programs will not have you teach your first year, perhaps not even your second, unless you have extensive experience (for example UI-UC is allowing me to teach my first year because I have taught languages for three years already). In the meantime, they will probably offer you programs to better your teaching abilities and you will probably sit in on other student's teaching courses to get a feel for teaching. In addition, most of the first classes you will be apart of will be large lecture courses, where you will probably lead a small division of that course once a week in a discussion based section, so you will experience the Professor teaching the large class and get a feel for being "in charge" of a smaller classroom all before you actually teach a language. 

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If you get interviews when you apply next year, you should definitely ask them what they will expect of you and what sort of assistance they will provide for facilitating classes.

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22 hours ago, chrissy2020 said:

So I went into a Master's, not a PhD, with no sort of teaching training. In my experience, we got a week long orientation centered around teaching before school started, and then during our first semester we had to take a teaching practicum, which essentially goes over different methods for teaching languages. I know that most PhD programs will not have you teach your first year, perhaps not even your second, unless you have extensive experience (for example UI-UC is allowing me to teach my first year because I have taught languages for three years already). In the meantime, they will probably offer you programs to better your teaching abilities and you will probably sit in on other student's teaching courses to get a feel for teaching. In addition, most of the first classes you will be apart of will be large lecture courses, where you will probably lead a small division of that course once a week in a discussion based section, so you will experience the Professor teaching the large class and get a feel for being "in charge" of a smaller classroom all before you actually teach a language. 

Thank you for the input and sharing your experience! I've been knocking around the idea of teaching History or Art History at the local community college, but they have to hire me first. I think my goal schools would all require teaching, but not until the 2nd or 3rd year. Do you only teach languages and/or do you have the option to teach adjacent courses? (Like history, archaeology, etc, if you're experienced in any of those fields). 

22 hours ago, chrissy2020 said:

If you get interviews when you apply next year, you should definitely ask them what they will expect of you and what sort of assistance they will provide for facilitating classes.

That's a good idea! Thank you for bringing that up; I'll add it to the list of questions to ask if I get the interviews next year!

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4 hours ago, clewless said:

FSU's Classics graduate program has a strong pedagogical component: mentioned in the Chronicle of Higher Education a while ago:

https://www.chronicle.com/article/Why-One-Department-Trains-Its/246349

 

Thank you for sharing this! 

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