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The dangers of waiting at the bus stop November 1, 2011

Posted by mareserinitatis in engineering, teaching.
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I’m not sure how much I’ve talked about it, but after a couple years teaching introductory geology labs, I was rather frustrated.  I’m really not sure what happened, but I have wondered if I was really misplaced in that setting.  I also didn’t have a great time with intro physics labs, but it didn’t seem quite as bad.  There, it seemed like I clicked with some students and not with others.  In geology…I just didn’t really click with anyone.  I generally had around 85-90% of the students say they would recommend me as a teacher, but it seemed like most of them were tolerating me and/or the class.  I suspect that’s probably because it was non-science majors taking a science class.

It’s been a relief, therefore, to get back to teaching in engineering.  I’m not sure what it is, but the kids seem to have this sense that the things I’m presenting may actually have an impact on their future.  And maybe it’s just because aspiring engineers are more organized than their non-technical college student counterparts.

What’s most amusing is that I usually have one or two students who like to hang around and just talk after class.  I can count on spending at least 20 minutes after almost every class talking with one or two students.  I’m not sure if they’re lonely or just seeking advice…but it’s a bit odd.

Today, after I finally broke away from my Tuesday afternoon class’ talkative students (one student, in particular, even kept talking to me as I walked to the office) was an even more interesting incident.  I was waiting for the bus to go back to the north end of campus.  In the approximately five minutes I stood there, I had three more students come up and talk to me about what was going on in class or ask me questions about things.

On the one hand, I’m very glad that students feel comfortable talking with me.  On the other hand, it’s a bit frustrating trying to remember who the person is when you have 90 students, no frame of reference as to which section they’re in, and you’re bad with names.

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1. John Kurtzman Waffenberg - November 11, 2011

they stick around simply because they fall in love with you. :))

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