I have become adept at teaching material I am not expert in. I credit this to my experience as a tutor. Having taught the units once I like to think that I am better equipped for the next time because I have learnt what works and what does not work.
Last year I took over a unit on tools and participatory decision-making previously run by a Unit Coordinator who left campus. I did not have his teaching experience, so I considered ways to deliver the unit while ensuring students remained content. I invited several people to present lectures to 35 students over one week in winter. I offered it in both internal and external modes and it was also quite practical. It was hard work for the students and me so, to help maintain interest during an intense week of learning, I baked cakes to enjoy during break times. I can happily report that the unit went well.
I enjoy doing all of the hard work but it is a challenge getting the whole thing started and working out what to do, where to go and who to ask. My research area is different to the many units I am now delivering and I ask myself whether I really know enough to be talking about this.
I encourage my students to ask questions; to argue; to put their points of view; to be critical and to take part in their classes. Another lecturer told me she enjoyed teaching my students because they are prepared to take a stand. She told me that she wished her other students were the same because it is much more interesting when your students are engaged in the class. My point is, if you adopt the right teaching approach and you engage your students, you do not have to be an expert.