As the senior graduate TA in the department, I've been asked to take over her 150 student lecture course. (I've led a group of her discussion sections along with 4 other TAs for three years now.)
I've seen her lectures, I've run slides, I know a lot about the material - it's my specialty.
But I've never taught more than 20 people at a time.
The chair of the department is desperate enough to ask me to take over the lecture section for the next 4 weeks, and as I'm finishing up my program next May, it's been suggested that this could serve as a trial run for me for a future position.
And I am scared shitless. I have to start next Monday (this week's been cancelled). I want to do this, not just to help my mentor, because she means the world to me, but because I'm ambitious enough to want to take a big step like this.
But what on earth do I do? There are notes of hers I can use. I can follow her footprints, but she wings a lot of what she says. She's thrilling. She's dynamic. I'm quiet, shy, and my heart is racing just imagining facing one lecture, one week. I don't want to freak out and tell the chair no. I don't want to let my mentor down.
But I have no idea how to handle this. I can do the give and take of a discussion. I know how to ask probing questions and make them respond. But I can't do an hour and a half on stage!
Q: Can anyone who teaches large lecture sections like this give me some newbie advice about how to get through even that first day. I can't imagine filling the time - 90 minutes. I'm holding the notes for next Monday, and I can read them in about 5 minutes. How do I vamp? How do I keep their interest? I need any and all help.