I’m going to teach a seminar with someone who not only has very little experience teaching, but little experience in the subject matter. He (of course it’s a he) thinks we don’t really need to prepare and can just “wing it”...

The organization that it’s for that abides by the constructivist model of teaching (i.e. people need to experience things and figure it out for themselves with little guidance as interpreted by this organization). I’m fine with this approach to a certain extent (I’ve made it clear that I offer guidance and clear instruction to my students because I’m not going to totally throw out the window the way that I teach normally since my experience is that telling people “here is minimal info, go!” is kinda terrible because, SURPRISE, that just causes students to be lost and confused). However, many in the organization (who are not teachers by trade) have interpreted this approach as meaning “oh, we don’t really need much material or preparation, we’ll just figure out as we go”... which uh...only works if you have a whole bunch of experience but also have taught with the person for awhile which is not usually the case.

So I was paired up with someone and he wants to do is make all the promotional material for this seminar that he started a few months ago. I was brought on because even though he started it, it’s at risk of falling apart since because he has little experience in both the subject matter and teaching (and yes, management at this place is not the best). When I asked him specifically what he wanted to do for the first seminar, which is tomorrow, the response I got was “we’ll have lots of new people, so we’ll have to teach in terms of that” then a whole long response about the promotional material. Ok, BUT WHAT DO YOU ACTUALLY WANT TO DO?!?! ARRRRGGGG! I responded that, cool, we can do it in terms of beginners, but we need to have a plan, decided in advanced. Specifics topics,ideas we want to cover with corresponding activities.


I’m trying to keep him as honest as possible by being specific, having most things in writing and refusing to backdown just to be “nice” because I ain’t got no time for that shit. But I’m new to this co-teaching/facilitating thing with people who have so little experience (I handle my classes on my own in my real-life job like most teachers and in other co-facilitating experiences I worked with people who even if they didn’t have experience teaching were experts or vice versa). Any tips? Or just commiseration? Should I just cry into my wine?

P.S. I’m also frustrated in general how it’s usually men that are all “we’ll just wing it” because they feel overconfident in their abilities. It makes me annoyed to now end - just because you have a penis does not mean you will be awesome at something just because you show up.