Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I can't let go.

I co-teach a lower-level version of my absolute favorite subject with someone from another department. Let's just be honest right up front: the students in their department are particularly weak ones. I recognize many on the class list that started out in my department and ended up in theirs.

To add to this: the departmental culture is very different. That department wants to make college experiential and fun and build the students self-esteem. You've heard my take on things- I want to build my students self-esteem, too, but by giving them a whole lot of competencies and knowledge, and the ability to have a razor-sharp critical thinking apparatus.

So, its torture for me to teach my absolute favorite subject to students that aren't ready for some of the basic concepts, who may be intimidated as hell by this course (which I find rather fluffy), and who already see me as the "other". They're all seniors, and so have had their "self-esteem built" for 3 years now, and are in a nice comfortable "feed me" frame of mind when it comes to knowledge. In addition, I had to beg my colleague to include just ONE quantitative lab for the semester: please, can we just measure something???

My mentor says "then teach them the basic concepts, and teach to their level". Yes I know that in my head, and will do my best to accomplish that. But in my heart I'm gettin' an "attitude". This attitude showed two years ago, as two of my teaching evals said "she made me feel stupid". I NEVER want to see that on my evals again. EVER.

I should be grateful for the training in teaching to many different levels. I should be grateful that several of the students have had me in my Pet Course, and therefore are paying me a compliment by taking another of my classes. I should be grateful to teach another class in my absolute favorite subject. Oh, how I love to expound on its beauty and wonders...

OK, I'm going to perseverate on that for a while. Yay, course. Yay course. Yay course, ohm, ohm, ohm.

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