This is the week where our carefully crafted teaching plans meet the actual arena!
46 undergraduates have volunteered their time to hear 20-minute teaching demonstrations. Some of this is purely awkward; not everyone in the room will have background for each topic, and 20 minutes is just enough time to not quite meet someone well. But we are going to focus on being engaging and welcoming; no matter how scary the space is for the instructor, it is probably more fearsome for the learner. Usually:)
We thank our volunteers with small gift cards and ask them to give feedback afterwards. Some of the undergraduate-written feedback is truly meaningful and deep, as they are an extremely motivated audience. Invariably, each trainee exits their test class saying something like ‘wow, that was…I think it went OK…?’ and the rest of the team is ready to reassure that all of the students were engaged, many even enjoyed it, and the magic of science teaching was really happening. This is a great preview for the work we will do in Spring classes; maybe even for some of the same students!