Thursday, May 08, 2008

Survived Class #2

Well, I survived class #2. It was looking kind of iffy for a while there, though. As of 2 am last night I still wasn't sure what I was going to talk about. I talked to H briefly this morning, and found out more of what they have and haven't previously seen, which made me much more comfortable about what to cover in class. It turns out I didn't get quite that far, but I at least knew what they have and haven't seen, what would be familiar to them, and what was new.

However, I apparently didn't really make that clear to them. I was going along with review material (I got myself thoroughly confused at one point, but managed to straighten myself out), and then said "why can we assume this?", and launched into *new* material, explaining why we could make that assumption. Heh. One student said afterwards that "it was very comforting, going over material that was all familiar, and then SUDDENLY EVERYTHING WAS NEW!!! NOTHING WAS FAMILIAR!" Whoops. Looks like I used a "shock and awe" approach this morning. I'll try to do less of that.

On the way to the elevator after class, one student said enthusiastically "This class is the most fun." My heart rose! I was very surprised, but, so elated! "Really?" I asked hopefully. "No," he responded, "I was being sarcastic. But that's okay, we all pretty much know what we're getting into with this course." *sigh*

Well, at least they feel they can joke with me.

My goal: Teach them the required material *without* earning the nickname "Dr Death". That, and try to minimize the amount of time I look like an idiot in front of them. (But I'm okay with looking like an idiot if they learn the material... I'll swallow my pride if they all learn.)

Speaking of pride, last term I was tutoring a student who had a history of doing poorly, and he got a B!!!!! I *taught* him something!!! Wow. Now that really had me tickled!


Anonymous said...

I can't speak to your CS teaching ability, but I can speak to your ability to explain things in multiple ways, to make them understandable, and to your being very approachable. Don't worry about the Dr. Death thing - as you said, the goal is for them to learn. Some are going to like you, and probably some won't. But the best teachers aren't always the most likable. :-P

Sara said...

ditto previous post. In high school teaching the teachers that are the most disliked usually are the ones with the highest expectations...but the kids learn the most because the teacher makes them work hard. :-)