A quick note on teaching

Having conversations with friends and old students in the last few weeks, I’ve begun to realize how much I really like teaching.

There have been few experiences that have been more rewarding for me than actually being able to see a student understand something they previously did not (Then again, I’m not a parent so I haven’t been tempted to post about my child’s adventures in potty training on Facebook. Maybe one day someone can lambast me for a status to the likes of “little Broomhilda peed in the potty for the first time by herself today!!!!!” or something as equally obnoxious and unnecessary).

It’s like in cartoons when you see the cogged wheels turning behind the character’s eyes and then suddenly a light bulb goes off beside them.

Well, maybe not: that’s a bit of a reductionist and unfair way of seeing the learning process. But I have seen definite changes in the facial expression of students when they finally understand something.

I guess because of how my brain works and how I learn myself, I often find ways to make connections between ideas and concepts and bring in examples that, although related, are not exactly the same as what is being taught. I have a certain proclivity to utilize song lyrics and poetry when teaching critical thinking for that reason.

At the same time however, I find marking a soul-sucking exercise. Assessment is necessary–demonstrating understanding is important–but it can be such a pain in the butt.

I wonder, however, will my opinions change a little but more once I am given the opportunity to teach my own classes? I have some really awesome ideas floating around, but I haven’t had enough autonomy to be able to do them yet. We shall see, I suppose…

This entry was posted in PhDing (in doubt), Teaching and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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