I gave the Chem 1 lecture today, thanks to the generosity of Dr. W. I don’t think I did very well.
Generally speaking, I think I’m a pretty darn good teacher, but I had issues with this situation:
(1) Teaching a subject (stoichiometry) which requires a lot of writing. I do my best when I’m interacting with the crowd. Eye contact is critical.
(2) Wrestling with the document cam which projected the stuff I was writing on the main screen. I think I would have been happier using the chalkboard.
(3) The room was just so big. So so big. I’ve taught workshops of up to 150 before (which was more than I had today) but the rooms didn’t seem so daunting. I think it’s just the way that lecture halls are set up–you’re down at the bottom, looking up at everyone. Very, very different from the hotel ballrooms where I taught at conferences–everything is flat. Having to look up at people makes it hard to maintain eye contact.
*sigh* I’ll get used to this. I’ll have to.