So, yesterday I received an email from my teaching assistant that included the following:
Students are finding the course to be very different and challenging and "refreshing" and some students in particular talked about how they can tell that you really enjoy teaching and how great that is.
I wrote back that even with my two Golden Apples on the bookshelf in my office, comments like this mean the world to me. This is a course in which each class begins with me providing some background on an article we will discuss, having a couple of students try to lead a discussion, and then my going over and elaborating on certain points. What do I bring to class? Just a copy of the article and a few hand written notes. No power point slides. I use chalk at the chalk board. And I ask students to write after almost every class putting to use the logic they are learning. The discussion is completely organic. I do have some ideas of what I want to cover but how much detail, how much elaboration, and how I transition from one topic to the next emerges as I teach. It is a wonderful "old school" teaching style. And while I enjoy teaching in general, it is just as refreshing for me as it is for the students as I have never had a chance to teach this way before. And the whole time, I am thinking about what I need to cover, pacing myself, and thinking about how to link everything together. It is an amazing experience and I am glad that students appreciate that. This is why I love to teach. And this is why I am so glad that my next career move if going to be toward a position that is even more concerned about education than I am now.