I'd like to begin by posing what one might call "the problem of the graduate student." It's a problem that is a problem both for those who are graduate students and for those who want their graduate students to get a good job as a professional philosopher (where 'good' means a job that is well-paying and at which one can thrive at as a person, scholar and teacher).
Here is the problem:
Graduate students are students, and as such, they are regarded as students. Yes, at some middle ground, all professors and graduate students hope that graduate students will make that imperceptible but all-important transition from student to colleague, and while many make that transition as graduate students, protocol and good mentorship calls for regarding them as students.
On the other hand, because graduate students are students, we professors tend not to share with them at any point either the ugly or the beautiful side of what it means to be a teacher of students, be they undergraduate or graduate students.
This post is intended to help Ph.D-granting institutions that want their graduates to be excellent candidates for jobs at SLACs (Small Liberal Arts Colleges). However, the advice given here is advice that I think would serve any Ph.D. program well and would serve any philosophy graduate student who is planning to apply for a job in the academy.
1. Talk About Teaching Early And Often. Your first-year graduate students may seem like students to you, but many of them have now been thrust into the role of being a teacher, with no previous experience or education about how to be a teacher. Take some time to ask your graduate students, be they first-year or beyond, about what teaching has been like for them, their challenges and their successes. Be honest about the pitfalls you have faced as a teacher and how you worked productively to address them. There is a difference, I know, between leading TAs and being a graduate adviser. Part of what I am recommending here is that one engage this conversation early and often in both roles. This makes more clear that one's life as a scholar and one's life as a teacher are not divorced in reality once one gets a job.
2. Subvert the Dominant Paradigm. Whether we like it or not, the dominant paradigm of a philosopher is as of a philosopher interacting with other philosophers and with graduate students qua future philosophers. We don't often interact with one another or with our graduate students as fellow teachers and as future teachers. This is not healthy for philosophy or for those who practice philosophy. Philosophy was born and survives as a cultural practice. We have an obligation to our collective future to teach well and to encourage others to teach well.
3. Teaching is Not Magic. I'm stealing this motto from my fellow-blogger, Michael Cholbi. Teaching is not some magical thing that one has innately or that one "gets" or that one gets the hang of after a few years of exposure. Most philosophers are rightly skeptical of scholarly literature in what one might call "education studies." But thankfully, philosophy has its own association of philosophy teachers (the AAPT) and its own journal (Teaching Philosophy) that both share that skepticism and recognize that good teaching is at the very least not something that every philosopher should have to figure out on her own. It should be informed by argument, reason and evidence. Its not good enough to point one's graduate students to these resources. Graduate programs should be centrally involved in the AAPT and in Teaching Philosophy, because arguably, Ph.D programs are most responsible for the students who have learned the most. Share the wealth, folks - how did you do it?
4. Be a Teaching Role Model. When you talk with your students about teaching, inevitably, you will talk about what makes it painful and difficult and exasperating. Grading twenty papers in a weekend is awful. Reading sentences like "A.A. Milne's theory of Utilitarianism says..." is maddening. Reading a paper where the student clearly has no grasp of basic grammar is downright depressing. Talk to them about it. Tell them how you deal with it. Sympathize. But don't encourage them to be dismissive of students. Sadly, most students in college have been duped into thinking that they were educated when they weren't. Our society has failed them. These folks have been totally hosed. Most of them want to learn but don't know how.
These pieces of advice won't help advisers who are wanting to help graduate students who are applying to SLACs and other non-R1 institutions now. But they will help them to teach their students in a way that makes them excellent candidates for SLACs in the future.