7 Tips on Guest-Teaching

In the current issue, “Prof Swap” (page 157) explores the benefits of higher-ed faculty guest-teaching on other campuses. Here, writer Sharon Garber, an associate professor of dance at Western Michigan University, provides some tips for making it happen.

1. Arrange a faculty exchange in which you and a colleague teach each other’s classes. This is a cost-effective way to invite fresh teachers to your campus while having a guest-teaching experience of your own. You may be able to exchange housing if you choose to swap simultaneously; you can also try arranging exchanges during spring breaks that don’t coincide, so that you can personally host your guest and vice versa.

2. Find campuses within driving distance and offer your teaching services for one day (or class). If the school doesn’t offer training in your genre, you can propose a master class.

3. Ask your department chair or faculty mentor for suggestions about where a master class/residency in your specialty would be valued. Senior faculty can also direct you toward worthwhile invitations that are best for your performance reviews.

4. Contact friends, colleagues and advisers you have met over the years from performing, teaching, graduate school, collaborative projects, etc. Use all of your professional networking resources! Your department’s alumni network is another good place to look.

5. Attend pedagogy and choreography workshops and seminars, where you can connect with other university faculty and form new relationships.

6. Join professional organizations and present your research/creative work at state, regional, national and international conferences.

7. Have your creative work adjudicated and/or teach classes at ACDFA regional conferences. Students will remember you from year to year, and you can meet colleagues from universities from your region and beyond.

Clockwise from top left: Courtesy Ford Foundation; Christian Peacock; Nathan James, Courtesy Gibson; David Gonsier, courtesy Marshall; Bill Zemanek, courtesy King; Josefina Santos, courtesy Brown; Jayme Thornton; Ian Douglas, courtesy American Realness

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