Preparing for the First Solo Teaching Experience: An Alternative to Learning as You Go

08 March 2022, Version 1
This content is an early or alternative research output and has not been peer-reviewed at the time of posting.


First-time instructors often lack necessary resources when preparing and teaching their first course, resulting in suboptimal outcomes for instructors and students. While pedagogical induction programs can assist first-time instructors, access to these opportunities are unequal (McCormack, Gore, and Thomas, 2007). Additionally, demographic and situational factors can hinder first-time instructors in the course of preparing their first class. Consequently, graduate students and junior scholars are more likely to learn as they go during their first teaching experience, making them more susceptible to negative experiences while balancing research and service responsibilities (Assuncao Flores, 2006; Gavish and Friedman, 2010; Meanwell and Kleiner, 2014). We present various considerations that first-time instructors can ponder before, during, and after course instruction that may greatly improve the experience. This manuscript is part of Strategies for Navigating Graduate School and Beyond, a forthcoming volume for those interested in pursuing graduate education in political science (Fall 2022 publication).


Strategies for Grad School
Graduate School


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