Archive for May, 2009

I must be a hopeless romantic, for when I checked my Ratemyprofessors page last night I nearly teared up at the very nice things my students from this past term had left about me there. I even earned my chili pepper after a term spent entirely in jeans and t-shirts. Screw dressing up ever again–oh wait, that’s right, I have to every day for my new job. Oh well.

The truth is that this past term was the most wonderful one that I’ve ever had at any school, ever, and that I imagine it’ll be a long time before I have a repeat. In addition to having wonderful students, knowing that it was my last term (possibly ever) at that school meant that I felt a bit freer in doing sort of experimental assignments, teaching in rather strange ways, and in cutting loose and being myself. Apparently, this works.

It shouldn’t be rocket science that just putting everything out there and seeing what happens is as good a pedagogical method as any, but in a world where teaching assessments matter, it might be. It was really freeing to just not have to worry about what anybody thought and just *do it* exactly the way I wanted to, just once…. at least until tenure. And even then, well, maybe it wouldn’t be entirely appropriate to be the class where the term douchbag became a running gag, but there it is–it was last term. And lo, it was good.

This term, in my new school, in my new position, I find myself opening up and letting go more than I would have before. O f course, there’s no douchbags here, no big party on the last day of the term, no fond send off other than presentations and don’t let the door knob hit you where the good lord split you–but there is an edge to the way I’m teaching now, and it’s doing good stuff.


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