constant observation of a class: how to handle?

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infopri:
My guess is that she declined your position in part because she feels unready to teach this course, at least with that particular book.  Now she sees an opportunity to learn.  (I'm guessing she doesn't have a lot of teaching exprerience, or if she does, it's limited to just one or a very few courses.)

Why do you not want her in your class?  I'd start there.

If the bottom line is to keep her out, though, you've got a few alternatives.

- My university also has a rule against anyone sitting in unless s/he's either registered or officially auditing.  Maybe yours does, too.

- You might need the seat for actual students.

- Your students might be uncomfortable having a third party watching all the proceedings.

- You might be uncomfortable with that level of observation.  There's no reason you can't say so.

In any case, you can explain that you've given the matter more thought, and you would rather she not observe you because <fill in reason here>.  It can (and should) be a pleasant conversation, even though you're turning her request down.

citrine:
Quote from: infopri on January 20, 2013,  8:53:53 PM

My guess is that she declined your position in part because she feels unready to teach this course, at least with that particular book.  Now she sees an opportunity to learn.  (I'm guessing she doesn't have a lot of teaching exprerience, or if she does, it's limited to just one or a very few courses.)

She wouldn't have been required to use the book if she taught the class at my university, and she's not required to use it at her university either. I'm not sure how much teaching experience she has, but I'm guessing that it's not a lot. (My chair interviewed her and so I didn't see her vita.)

Quote

Why do you not want her in your class?  I'd start there.

If the bottom line is to keep her out, though, you've got a few alternatives.

- My university also has a rule against anyone sitting in unless s/he's either registered or officially auditing.  Maybe yours does, too.

- You might need the seat for actual students.

- Your students might be uncomfortable having a third party watching all the proceedings.

- You might be uncomfortable with that level of observation.  There's no reason you can't say so.

In any case, you can explain that you've given the matter more thought, and you would rather she not observe you because <fill in reason here>.  It can (and should) be a pleasant conversation, even though you're turning her request down.


I think the reason I don't want her there is that I'm uncomfortable with that level of observation and I think my students might be as well. I'm happy to talk with her about how I teach the course and give her access to my lesson plans and other course materials, but I don't want her in my classroom every single day. I'm not sure if that's a "good enough" reason not to let someone come watch me teach every day, but that's how I feel.

infopri:
Quote from: citrine on January 20, 2013,  9:07:09 PM

Quote from: infopri on January 20, 2013,  8:53:53 PM

My guess is that she declined your position in part because she feels unready to teach this course, at least with that particular book.  Now she sees an opportunity to learn.  (I'm guessing she doesn't have a lot of teaching exprerience, or if she does, it's limited to just one or a very few courses.)

She wouldn't have been required to use the book if she taught the class at my university, and she's not required to use it at her university either. I'm not sure how much teaching experience she has, but I'm guessing that it's not a lot. (My chair interviewed her and so I didn't see her vita.)


I understood that she could have used another book, but (a) this one might have been recommended, and (b) she might not feel confident regarless of which book she was going to use.

Quote from: citrine on January 20, 2013,  9:07:09 PM

I think the reason I don't want her there is that I'm uncomfortable with that level of observation and I think my students might be as well. I'm happy to talk with her about how I teach the course and give her access to my lesson plans and other course materials, but I don't want her in my classroom every single day. I'm not sure if that's a "good enough" reason not to let someone come watch me teach every day, but that's how I feel.


Sounds good enough to me.  And don't worry about the fact that you didn't say this from the get-go.  It's perfectly all right to tell her that you've thought about it some more, and you're not comfortable (for the reasons you give here), and to do the other things you say here (talk to her, give her access to your materials, etc.).

Good luck!

citrine:
Just to follow up: I checked in with my department chair, who said that while she'd like me to be cordial towards the Potential Adjunct, she felt that it was perfectly appropriate for me to set boundaries around how often Potential Adjunct can come to my classroom.

Potential Adjunct did not come to my class today but sent me an email saying that she had met with the Dean of the School of Business at the university at which she teaches and sent me a list of questions from that meeting that she was hoping I could answer. She also asked for rubrics and course materials, including my notes. Based on the questions and requests, I'm starting to feel like an unpaid consultant for someone else's program, especially given that Potential Adjunct is not teaching at my university and is being paid by this other university to develop this course.

In my response to her email, I said that I'd prefer that she only come to class a few more times during the semester, and that I was happy to provide a list of dates when I knew I'd be covering important material that she might want to observe.

infopri:
Sounds like you're handling it just right, citrine.  I agree, this is sounding more and more like a new instructor who doesn't know what she's doing and wants you to teach her--and it also sounds like that's the plan of the dean of her business school, too.

In your shoes, I'd probably share at least some of my teaching materials (and maybe all of them, depending on what they were), such as in-class exercises, the homework and other assignments, and the exams.  There's no way no how I'd give her my lecture notes, probably.  I've shared those only once--when I resigned from the TT and my job went to a good friend who was going to be teaching the very classes I'd been teaching.  (There's more to the story, but that would have been reason enough.)

I very much like how you're handling any remaining visits to your class.

Good luck!

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