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College lecturers, please help me land a dream job!

(32 Posts)
MaudLebowski Sun 19-Jul-15 10:09:20

I've got an interview for a lecturing position, it's part time, doing hnc, hnd and foundation degree level.
I have a secondary pgce obtained many years ago, loads of academic qualifications and industry experience, but I'm fretting about the microteach I have to do at interview.
20 minutes at that level is causing me problems, as I'll have to rush if I'm assuming little prior knowledge to get to the bit they're interested in. If I assume prior knowledge they might get totally lost and I'll look like a fool!
My dH is a secondary teacher, he says I should do something basic and get the students to do an activity rather than lecture as such, but that feels too school to me, surely college is more lecture-y, I know uni was very much 'lecturer goes on for an hour- students listen'. Dh says too much talking is frowned on by ofsted.
What would you do? Is college like school or like uni?
Any idea what the microteach is looking for, apart from me not to throw myself out of the window in a panic, which currently feels increasingly likely?
Any advice at all greatfully received!

MaudLebowski Sun 19-Jul-15 10:25:45

It should have been in education really shouldn't it!

Pedestriana Sun 19-Jul-15 10:38:42

You may get more answers in education.

I've covered lectures before (am a student, but knew the topic well), and in the situation I had, I just used slides/visuals and spoke. For an hour sad
In retrospect, it would have been better to have used more practical elements; people were meant to be working in small groups on a task, supported by the visuals, and questions/interaction was encouraged. It would have been better to have had a structured task for the groups.

The possibility of future lecturing has been mooted, though I've seen nothing of this - but I understand if it were to be offered, it would be on a casual ad-hoc basis. I have no idea whether there would be a need for me to give a presentation/microteach but I would expect the interviewers to look for
a) depth of knowledge
b) breadth of knowledge
c) ability to present subject in engaging way
d) way to ensure those being taught understand principles/message
e) enjoyable 'teaching' session

Learning by doing can be far more effective than learning by listening.

MaudLebowski Sun 19-Jul-15 10:45:03

Thank you,
Twenty minutes doesn't seem like long enough to do anything really, an hour would have been much easier to plan, it's not really something I can do as a practical in a classroom, think computer programming type activity.
I'm just flapping though really, it's a good thing the interview is not for a month!

Bonbonchance Sun 19-Jul-15 10:51:53

Could you do a lecture but include different elements eg some talking, show a relevant video extract to back you up, refer to a recent case/research etc & get them to think/discuss/hyposethise for a minute? I'm probably not much help, but I have a friend who's a college lecturer (in a very practical subject so it's different from you) but I know they liked it when he used technology/different ways for students to engage.

Skeppers Sun 19-Jul-15 10:55:05

I used to teach in a College and it was definitely, DEFINITELY more activity-based (like 'traditional' teaching) rather than lecturing. It may just have been the type of College I worked at (primarily vocational) but you would have been panned for just talking at the students for an hour. Well, actually, they just wouldn't have listened and drifted off after about 10 mins!

Have they given you a topic for the micro teach? It would be good to devise a quick, engaging contextualised activity which has clear goals/outcomes and some kind of quick'd be surprised what you can fit into 20 mins and that would demonstrate to the interviewer that you understand the 'cycle' of learning. smile

dontrunwithscissors Sun 19-Jul-15 11:01:29

I'm a uni lecturer and the push now is very much away from lecturing toward 'active learning'.

CrockedPot Sun 19-Jul-15 11:07:04

I teach in FE and am one of the advanced teaching team, so observe other teachers. Your dh is right, active learning, with students doing most of the what they will be looking for. If I was observing a micro teach and it was 'lecture style' I woukdn't put the candidate through for interview. Put name cards on the desks, get them to write their names on as they cone in, use their names to ask questions. Do a very quick starter, some examples of active learning, v quick plenary. Good luck!

MaudLebowski Sun 19-Jul-15 11:07:23

Thank you both very much, they haven't given me a topic as such, just sent me the outline for the whole course, and I thought I might do the bit I work with where I have some specialist software to show off that they probably won't have seen before. It sounds like I might need to change it for something I can get them to do, just have to rack my brains a bit as to what!

CrockedPot Sun 19-Jul-15 11:08:15

'Students doing most of the work!' Should say!

CrockedPot Sun 19-Jul-15 11:11:04

What about showing them the software then design some questions about its use/ how it compares to similar/ any drawbacks or limitations etc?

MaudLebowski Sun 19-Jul-15 11:11:41

CrockedPot, what should I assume about prior knowledge? It's an engineering subject so when people get lost they get really lost. If I go basic will I be marked down for not telling them anything they didn't already know?

morethanpotatoprints Sun 19-Jul-15 11:12:22

I would do an activity tbh.
Start with a good intro obviously including aims and objectives.
Then do the activity, then tell them what they have learned by going through the aims and obs and how you covered them.
This will be what they are looking for imo.
It was when i did mine.

MaudLebowski Sun 19-Jul-15 11:29:06

Right, an activity...wasn't like this in my day....all this was fields, an we did our maths on slates smile

overthemill Sun 19-Jul-15 11:33:07

I did PGCE much more recently than you and it was post compulsory education. The thing I always remember when planning lessons is that people only concentrate in tiny amounts max of 20 mins anyway. And do short things so in micro teaching session you want : learning objectives for this session
What you are going to do / explanation/

You need to think of tiny topic
And it's not just lecture and take notes these days

overthemill Sun 19-Jul-15 11:34:10

What's the subject you are going to teach?

MaudLebowski Sun 19-Jul-15 11:38:22

Thanks overthemill, you're right, it's a tiny topic I'm after. I was thinking too big and will have to zoom in on a little area which has something I can turn into an activity in it.

MaudLebowski Sun 19-Jul-15 11:42:43

Subject for microteach is Sustainable engineering technologies, I was looking at doing the maths around solar power, but I'm concerned it might be too advanced, having said that I'm concerned that if I take it back to 'this is a solar panel' they'll have seen it all before.

MargoReadbetter Sun 19-Jul-15 11:48:56

Have a look around for some podcasts to see what grabs your interest and is explained nicely. To get an idea of how to pitch it.

PS - I might get you confused with someone else, weren't you doing a PhD a few years back?

MaudLebowski Sun 19-Jul-15 11:53:23

Margo, I was doing a master at a uni in the southwest a few years ago, they offered me a Phd but I couldn't do it in the end because of drop in salary.
Pm me if you think you know me smile

MargoReadbetter Sun 19-Jul-15 12:01:03

Only from here smile

Thenapoleonofcrime Sun 19-Jul-15 12:12:11

I listen to lecturer job presentations quite a lot. It is uni not FE college but we are all looking for the same thing- which is an engaging strong presenter. I went to a really good one recently, where the person presented a mathematical concept, then showed how it was applied in research using a couple of engaging examples. What made it stand out was that she only focused on one thing, spoke in a simple way but alluded to the complexity of the concept (where they would take it next time), had good slides based on real data from relevant datasets (so in your case link to actual SP technologies/companies. She didn't do a hands-on task as we were the audience, but explained what she would have done (created data set and asked students to manipulate two variables in three different ways in groups, report back).

We all came away with an excellent understanding of the concept! Some of the others covered too much, were too dry, assumed students understood their mumbling about other ideas, slides overcrowded or very dull. It was a very dull topic, so some effort was required to make it relevant/interesting.

By the way though, she was extremely nervous, but that didn't count against her as the quality shone through even though her voice shook. Those nerves would be lost by week 2 in a lecture hall!

Good luck with it!

TwistInMySobriety Sun 19-Jul-15 12:51:52

I agree it needs to be hands-on and focused. Don't try and cover too much ground or get too complex. It might be worth asking ahead for a fuller picture of the course content to pitch it right. Basic is better than too complex, and if you want to be really sneaky, plan a handout that shows the overall syllabus for the course as you'd teach it. Have your class as the first session and show how you'd build on it in subsequent classes. Best of luck!

MayDivorceBeWithYou Sun 19-Jul-15 13:03:38

There's fair few examples on YouTube on how to approach this. Plus if you Google microteaching further education , some institutions have pdf guidance for interviews including the microteaching activity.

MayDivorceBeWithYou Sun 19-Jul-15 13:04:51


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