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This Category: > PhD Advice / Support


Lecturing alongside PhD problems

User: Phdlife92 - 25 November 2020 12:54

Hi all, so despite the pandemic and having to redesign my method I have managed to start my research successfully and I have a good amount of literature under my belt. I'm fortunate to be on a PhD stipend, and this means I'm contracted to teach for a certain amount of hours, I hadn't completed any in my first year and I was keen to start teaching.

This year I began teaching two seminars a week for 60 students, I'm given the content of the seminars a day or two before usually a Saturday and it takes me a while to go through a read and understand the content! Since I started teaching a few weeks ago I have felt stressed, anxious, on edge, I am not sleeping or eating properly. I am constantly responding to emails and my PhD is suffering. I am also a lone parent with no childcare and everything feels tough!!! I was also asked to mark some work, and I only had a day to do this. I have made an error with one student's piece of work and mixed it up and now they think they have made better progress than they have. The email came from the head of the module so now I worry I look totally incompetent.

I basically want to ask, has anyone else made any big teaching faux pas like sending the wrong feedback???

User: rewt - 25 November 2020 20:30

You get over it by realising that nearly every lecture has made the same mistake. Don't beat yourself up about it, learn from the mistake and move on with it.

One of the best of pieces of advice I have ever got was during my placement year working on an industrial plant. Long story short, I shut down a 4 million pound plant for nearly 36 hours due to misunderstanding about scaffolding. I was shitting myself thinking I was going to get sacked as I had cost the company at least 100 thousand. After everything was fixed/sorted, the managing director called a meeting to go through everything and I seriously thought I was going to get sacked. I get there and the director makes a joke saying "I was wondering when you were going to break the plant, what did you learn?" He was like everyone messes up eventually and it is perfectly acceptable as long as you learn from. The other engineers in the room proceeded to tell stories about all the times they shut down plants and their stories were a lot lot worse. So it is perfectly acceptable to mess up occasionally and most people understand that.

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