For a teaching demonstration for an academic job interview (in mathematics, if that matters), should I bring worksheets to my interview, and hand them out to my "students?"

My teaching demonstration will be in front of a search committee rather than an actual class of students. I wanted to demonstrate what I actually do with real students, which is hand out worksheets to them at the start of class. I was wondering if it will be appropriate to print these out and bring them to my interview and hand them out like I usually would to a real class.

  • When I'm on a hiring committee, it creates a very poor impression if a candidate says in their letter that they do active learning, but then in the interview there is no active learning, or it doesn't feel real. Active learning is a difficult teaching technique to get right, and if we ask for a teaching sample, we want to see how well you execute the teaching techniques that you use. Sometimes I think people are afraid to do realistic teaching in a sample because they want to blast through a lot of material. That's not what we want to see.
    – user1482
    Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 18:49

3 Answers 3


How can you demonstrate your teaching without your teaching materials? I believe that you should for the duration of the teaching demonstration treat the search committee as if they are students. I doubt this would be condescending to the committee because they asked you to teach to them rather than actual students.

Off course the committee will not actually do the assignment but it will give them a chance to see what you do as a teacher as well as the quality of your materials. It also allows them to see the interaction between the materials and your teaching.

If you are really nervous, just ask them before the demo if they actually want the materials. If they say no you wasted a few bucks on photocopies. If they say yes you were ready and thoroughly prepared.

  • I went so far as to quiz my local guide about their demo closet before embarking, and brought some extra materials so I could do a practical I like to use. Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 2:15
  • 3
    Depending on OP's teaching style, it may be imperative that the committee actually complete the assignment, especially if OP values some sort of collaborative learning or facilitated discussion process. I think it would be fairly rude to request a teaching demonstration but be unwilling to participate.
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 23:34

Yes, absolutely, do bring them! Having been on both sides of teaching interviews in mathematics, I can definitely tell you that the whole purpose of such a teaching demonstration is to get an impression of how you're actually going to teach. Not all schools can put a candidate in a real class with real students (for whatever reason that might be), hence "mock" classes in front of faculty posing as students. But you still should be to be as authentic and true to your teaching style as possible. Moreover, when you get your materials out, the search committee will see and appreciate the effort you put into preparation. It will be one of those possibly little things that do add up in your favor.

And don't be surprised at faculty trying to play their part authentically too! There's a chance that some will pretend to be not-so-good students, just to test how you can handle situations and questions that can occur in a real class.


Oh, I would bring them along, and if you get the search committee to actually fill out the sheets, all the better! I much prefer this to printouts of the slides some applicants pass out.

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