Using a Teacher’s Manual
Textbooks and casebooks often have accompanying teacher’s manuals. These manuals range from limited, rambling copies of the textbook author’s classroom notes to detailed discussions of the book’s materials and related course structuring issues and classroom questions.
I have not really used a teacher’s manual over the years, in part because it was not an option when I started teaching years ago as I started teaching with a casebook that did not have a teacher’s manual. Later, when I began using books that did have teacher’s manuals, I did not always agree with the manual or the suggestions made therein, so I never really consulted the manuals.
That said, I will be working with a colleague on his teacher’s manual, so I am curious about what other professors find useful in a teacher’s manual. My impression is that a teacher’s manual should be geared toward:
(a) the new teacher who has never taught anything before,
(b) the teacher who is picking up a certain class to fill a curricular need, outside her/his area of primary expertise, or
(c) the teacher who needs help with the basics of a certain limited aspect of his course (such as tax in a mergers & acquisitions class).
Am I correct on the sort of faculty who tend to extensively use a teacher’s manual or are their teachers out there who do not fit the above parameters who find teaching manuals useful?
Perhaps it is best to ask professors who are reading this post: What would the ideal teacher’s manual include, and would an outstanding teacher’s manual sway you in favor of adopting a particular book for your class?
(Does this blog have a “poll” function, and should I know how to use it?)