Lectures: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 12 noon-1 PM, room MATH 104 (Mathematics Building)
Office hours: by appointment
Office: MATH 212 (Mathematics Building)
Email address:
Phone number: (604) 822-4371

Course description: The purpose of this course is to provide students with training to help them become more effective teachers, and also to give the mathematics department a means for evaluating the suitability of students to teach undergraduate courses in mathematics.

Virtually everybody is capable of becoming a competent and skillful instructor, but virtually nobody would do well if made to teach a course without preparation or forethought about effective teaching practices. Structuring a course, preparing lectures, delivering information, responding to questions, assigning homework, dealing with problem students, and so on are all areas where a little consideration of certain guidelines can vastly improve a teacher's performance.  Much of what comprises excellent teaching is quite different from individual to individual; most of what comprises bad teaching, on the other hand, is universal yet easily avoided with some experience.

Evaluation: The course is graded on a pass/fail basis. Passing the course is based on the following criteria:

  • Attendance
  • Participation in discussions and class activities
  • Completion of teaching presentations

Students will give two presentations during the semester, one of length 15 minutes and one of length 40 minutes. The first, short presentation will be to critique the students' mechanics and classroom presence, while the long presentations will be to critique their organization of material into a beneficial lecture. Students will teach typical topics from first-year calculus as if the audience were actually a first-year calculus class, after which they will receive feedback from the rest of the class and the instructor.

The schedule for the semester is as follows:

I. Preparation for short presentations
Wednesday, September 3: Overview of course
Friday, September 5: Description and scheduling of short presentations
Monday, September 8: Example lecture and discussion
Wednesday, September 10: Blackboard technique
II. Short presentations
III. Preparation for long presentations
Friday, October 3 (second half of class): Scheduling of long presentations
Monday, October 6: Lecture design and modularity
Wednesday, October 8: In-class group activity, practice lecture design
Friday, October 10: Asking and receiving student questions and feedback, classroom psychology
Wednesday, October 15: Feedback and discussion of practice lectures
IV. Long presentations

Supplement: I found a teaching statement I wrote in 2005, and it's surprisingly lucid. It could be thought-provoking for you to read over.

Short presentations

Each short presentation will last 15 minutes, either from 12:00-12:15 or 12:25-12:40 PM. Students should imagine that they are giving a full lecture on the indicated topic and then deliver a 15-minute-long portion (typically the first 15 minutes) of what the full lecture would be; in short, there should be no pressure on completely covering the given topic. Students should also think about where their topic would fall in a typical (non-honours) first-year calculus curriculum, although any reasonable assumptions in this vein are acceptable and need not be made explicit.

The schedule for the short (15-minute) presentations will be:

Friday, September 12
Mike: The Intermediate Value Theorem
Ben: Integration by substitution
Monday, September 15
Andrew: Logarithms in calculus
Steve: Trigonometric functions in calculus
Wednesday, September 17
Will: Seperable differential equations
Scott: First Derivative Test for local extrema
Friday, September 19
Jerome: Continuity
Ian: The area between curves
Monday, September 22
Daniel: Improper integrals
Shane: The Chain Rule
Wednesday, September 24
Cindy: The Product Rule
Erin: Asymptotes
Friday, September 26
Avishka: The slope of a graph
Craig: The Fundamental Theorem of Calculus
Monday, September 29
Cam: The Quotient Rule
Tyler: Second Derivative Test for local extrema
Wednesday, October 1
Owen: Integration by parts
Felipe: Critical points
Friday, October 3
Hesam: The Mean Value Theorem

Long presentations

The schedule for the long (40-minute) presentations will be:
Friday, October 17
Mike: l'Hôpital's Rule
Monday, October 20
Shane: Critical points
Wednesday, October 22
Scott: Finding all zeros of functions
Friday, October 24
Steve: Integration by substitution
Monday, October 27
Will: Continuity
Wednesday, October 29
Cam: The Fundamental Theorem of Calculus
Friday, October 31
Jerome: Improper integrals
Monday, November 3
Ian: One-variable optimization problems
Wednesday, November 5
Ben: The Mean Value Theorem
Friday, November 7
Daniel: Trigonometric functions in calculus (including inverse trig functions)
Monday, November 10
Cindy: Logarithms in calculus
Wednesday, November 12
Hesam: Second Derivative Test for local extrema
Friday, November 14
Avishka: First Derivative Test for local extrema
Monday, November 17
Erin: The slope of a graph
Wednesday, November 19
Owen: The Intermediate Value Theorem
Friday, November 21
Craig: Integration by parts
Monday, November 24
Tyler: Asymptotes
Wednesday, November 26
Andrew: The area between curves
Friday, November 28
Felipe: Separable differential equations

Each student can skip one day per week, according to the following schedule:

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