I have yet to teach my own class and there isn’t one in the near future (need to complete comps first) but if I wait to think about teaching until I’m in front of a bunch of students I’m in trouble. Research and writing may have been the reason I entered graduate school, but teaching is why I stayed. I enjoy research projects, but I also find teaching to be incredibly valuable to the research process. Courses are almost always broader than a research topic, which provides an alternate lens through which to view your projects. Going over the Progressive Era in the US history survey class certainly made me think about my research on Progressivism differently. Engaging with non-History majors excites me the most, though. History and skills taught in history classes are vital to healthy societies and informed citizens. And let’s be honest, there’s a lot of fun stuff (pop culture, memory, etc) you can do teaching a history class.
So what do I know about teaching? While I certainly have a lot to learn, I already give advice to students on how to take notes, write better papers, study for exams, and read course materials as a teaching assistant and a tutor. Collecting my thoughts is valuable to me because I will have a foundation from which I can continue to build.