Teacher audit

October 1, 2004

Catherine Grant, 40, is lecturer in film studies, and director of the film studies department, School of Drama, Film and Visual Arts, Kent University. She mainly teaches non-English language cinema to undergraduates. Next year, she will teach a new MA module on practices and discourses of film directing.

Salary : top of lecturer B scale (up to £34,834), moving up to senior lecturer scale (£37,558-£42,573) in October.

Qualifications : I have a BA (Hons) in modern languages and literatures, a PhD in Mexican literature and in politics (Leeds University).

Experience : I have some early training and practice as an English as a foreign language teacher, which has always proved useful. Then I lectured in Spanish and Latin American studies at Strathclyde University for eight years, before moving to study film at Kent in 1998.

Hours spent teaching : about 20 hours a week, including preparation, supervision and marking.

Hours on red tape : at present 20 to 30 hours a week, sometimes more - we have expanded and had to hold lots of job interviews recently, and this has been incredibly time-consuming

Hours on research : not enough in term-time.

* Teaching bugbear : this past year there have been some tricky groupwork dynamics on a final-year film-making module, which caused a lot of stress.

Historically it's been the only module in which students can make a proper short film, so they're keen to take it and less happy about the necessary compromises in individual creative vision that group work entails, sometimes causing startling clashes among students who have known each other for years.

How did you solve it? We reconfigured groups. This is not ideal, as it disrupts the entire class, but it worked out fine, with some great films this year. We are introducing more film-making modules so that students don't just have to wait for this one course, and hope to establish a better groupwork ethos earlier in the degree programme. It's all very good preparation for reallife in any case.

Best teaching moment? It's always that moment when students learn to stop simply summarising film plots and characters and really start to notice that, for a large part of their meanings, films depend on usually carefully organised and always shifting emphases and points of view, subtle movements of light and dark, and sometimes tiny shifts in sound and gesture. It is very exciting to be in the classroom when that happens.

Teaching tip? Love your subject. Not difficult with film; there's even a word for it: cinephilia.

Outside interests : these are mostly not "outside" - going to the cinema, and travelling to other countries (often to see films) - but I also rediscovered clubbing recently.

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