Offer to give a guest lecture

Instructor lectures in front of chalk board. Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service

Finding an Opportunity

While TAing may provide you with the opportunity to lead a smaller section or lab, if you are considering an academic teaching position, you may also want to practice giving a larger lecture to continue to hone your skills.  The opportunity may be closer than you think.  Faculty members may be willing to allow you to step in for a guest lecture if they know you are interested. 

If you feel that you have the expertise to do so for a given class, make your case. Politely ask the instructor if there might be an opportunity for you to give (in part or a whole) lecture sometime during the quarter. Let them know what type of material you're willing to cover and that you're excited to work hard to prepare for this.

Preparing for your Lecture

Now that you have secrured an opportunity, you will want to spend some time planning and preparing for your lecture!  A first step would be to meet with the course instructor to make sure that you understand their goals for the course and how your lecture will fit in to the big picture.  You want to further their course learning objectives as well as possible.  After you have a clear understanding from the instructor, you might also check out these resources to help you begin designing your lesson:

Reflecting on your Teaching

If you get the chance to give a guest lecture, take a little time beforehand to set up a way to gain feedback so you can reflect on your teaching experience once you are finished.  VPTL can send a consultant to get feedback from your students, arrange an online survey, or record your class and consult with you afterwards.