Thursday, October 26, 2006

Three Class Observations

  1. If George W. Bush were teaching algebra, this is what I would imagine that it would sound like. I'm not very good at placing accents, so maybe this guy doesn't have the same Texas accent as the president, but their vocal cadences are very similar. He also would also randomly start giggling in a somewhat presidential way. Made the same types of errors that we all do (said 2 when he meant 1/2), but they stuck out more for some reason. Not sure what the official enrollment of the course is, but it met in a small lecture hall. By five minutes after the start of class, there were 23 students present.

  2. I was surprised to learn that the instructor had grown up not too far from where I did, in a sort of northerly hockey playing town. The type of place where Canadian change (under $1) circulates easily. His vocal style is that of the preacher, and he got the 60+ students in the room to give mixed chorus responses. What is the slope of the line? Can I get an amen? Unfortunately, he's not as dynamic as the TV preachers that you see on the Jesus Channel with their multi-media Jesus displays. Of course our run-down classrooms evoke the idea of the devoted small-town pastor. This instructor fits into that mode. Well-versed in both math and the scholarship of teaching, everything about his class was thought out and deliberate. The students are all sinners: he announced that only about half the class is likely to pass with a C or better.

  3. Oh my goodness. This is what class was like on the day I was scheduled to observe? Oh my. I don't think anyone in the entire room was paying attention past the first few minutes. I was able to plan my calculus lecture for the next day.