Posted by: unlikelygrad | February 7, 2012

professor wannabes

I am done with all of my required coursework, but I am taking a class this semester anyway. It’s a class that’s very different from every other class I’ve taken as a grad student, but I am loving it nonetheless.

The subject of the class is how to teach college-level classes, and as a result the students are very diverse: a fair number first-year students just getting started on their PhDs; quite a few PhD students about to graduate, desperate to know how to write a teaching statement; a few oddballs in the middle, like me; and a couple of professors who are interested in improving their pedagogy.

Another cool thing about the class is the variety in the backgrounds of the students. For one thing, we represent most of the departments on campus, which is rare for a grad-level class. More intriguing (to me) is the number of non-traditional grad students who are taking the class. It’s nice not to be the only one who spent a considerable amount of time outside academia.

The class is very interesting (and well-taught, as you might guess), and I’m learning a lot. People say I’m a good teacher, and I am. But most of what I do comes from instinct or experience–or has been learned from observing other good teachers. I’ve never had a class that delved this deep into educational psychology.

I wish I could make classes like this mandatory for anyone who teaches at the college level.

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