TAT CN Header

Monday, September 10, 2007

Evaluated

Last Friday, I was observed in my classroom by my department dean. This can be a stressful event -- it can make an instructor anxious to know that every part of how he or he conducts the classroom is being scrutinized -- but, I am actually pretty comfortable being observed. Don't get me wrong, it still makes me a little nervous, but I'm confident in my teaching methods and have experienced a great deal of success with most students; plus, I welcome feedback from my peers and superiors (teaching, especially at the college level, can sometimes feel lonely because it's just you and the students; that can make it difficult to understand how well you're doing in the classroom, so I like to be observed from time to time in order to better understand what I'm doing well and what needs improvement).

So, I felt the class time on Friday went well, but I was, honestly, a little nervous to receive my feedback and meet with the dean to discuss his observations. This morning I got to do both, and it made me feel awesome!

He had nothing but glowing comments and said that he was extremely impressed by every aspect of the class! He even commented in the feedback that "the class was so interesting that I sometimes found myself forgetting to take notes." I can't express how important a review like this is for me (a new full-time faculty member), and it really helps reinforce that I am doing something I'm good at and enjoy (the dean also commented that I clearly "take joy in teaching" and that my interaction with students was "energetic and dynamic"). He was also impressed that I don't use notes while teaching -- something he commented on in person and on the written feedback, and he asked how I had such tremendous recall.

Students have asked this before as well -- one girl once asked if I had a photographic memory. Do I have a super-human memory? Of course not. I'm just very familiar with my material (I've taught the short story we were discussing about four dozen times), and I do have a pretty good memory. Especially if I write something down, I pretty much remember it permanently (yet, I can't always remember to take my keys with me when I walk out of the house -- it's a tricky thing, the brain).

Anyway, this review has really helped make my Monday.

21 comments:

ws said...

that's awesome, Jess. Hopefully your day improves even more from here...

I would comment that I think it is odd you can't remember your keys but can remember details of short stories, but I suffer from a similar condition (just to add to the enigma). I've been told I'm borderline photographic and when there are numbers/dates this is especially true.

David said...

Congratulations! That kind of feedback must do a lot to erase the memory of the other "feedback incident" of the last few weeks.

Jess said...

Congrats Jess! That's so awesome. The university system as a whole would probably benefit way more if it had more teachers like you who actually care about what they are teaching!

Wes said...

yee haw! Nothing like getting a rousing thumbs up from your peers/bosses! You rock at teaching too!?!? What a surprise! Not!!!

Marcy said...

CONGRATS chica!! Really it doesn't surprise me though. Just from reading your blog you always have plenty of interesting to talk about (I mean come on we're talking about running . . . day in and day out :P And you always seem to make that interesting :-) ), so I can see how it carries over into your teaching ;D

Erin said...

Great job!

Put that feather in your cap and wear it all week long. You deserve it.

Bonni Michelle said...

Congrats on the good review from the dean!

Neese said...

congratulations that's really great!! too bad they couldn't arrange it to tell you on a friday so you could go out and celebrate heheh.

Non-Runner Nancy said...

Totally cool that you love what you do AND you are good at it!! It's so nice to get that feedback and a litte recongition. I get what you mean about familiarity with material. I have a class/topic that I have done probably 12 - 15 times and I am really passionate about the topic. It is always very evident to people and can make a huge difference.

GOOD FOR YOU!!

runnergirl said...

That's awesome, Jess! That must have made you feel so good.

The memory is crazy! I can remember that patients I saw 2 years ago were in the process of adopting their kids when they were last in so their records are still under the old last name, but I can't remember to pay bills on time! UGH!

You should be so proud! Sounds like you picked the right profession! Good teachers are hard to come by, sounds like you are one of them!!!

Amy said...

That's so fantastic Jess! That's just so awesome!

J~mom said...

I remember getting evaluated and being nervous about it for weeks. I am so glad it went well!!

L*I*S*A said...

Yay!! Way to leave 'em impressed and happy. I'm sure you're on cloud nine. It's nice to be recognized for doing such a good job.

teacherwoman said...

What a great way to start off the week! Congrats to you!

Jes said...

Congratulations! I'm so happy for you! I can only think of a few teachers that I would have given that sort of feedback to (as a student).

Mary Gee said...

That is great. That makes me happy :) for you!

Tom said...

Congratulations, Jess, on not just the feedback, but on the obvious impact you have on others.

Everybody has a favorite teacher and loves to talk about them, how they inspired them, helped the understand, like, or even love the subject.

I imagine you're on favorite list of many.

Keep up the great work!

Tiffany said...

You are awesome!! I am sure it feels great to be recognized... and positive feedback feels so good :)

Keep it up!

Tiff

Mendy said...

Wow! That's fantastic, Jess!!! Feedback like that must make you proud, as you should be! Seems like a wonderful and highly respected teacher from the Dean and from your students. I'm sure not many teachers get that kind of feedback...

CollegeGirl said...

Congrats! I wish I had more teachers like you. Can you switch with my COMM professor? ;-)

brunettechicagogal said...

What a good feeling that must've been!

I taught for only four years, and there's no way I could do it without notes. I had to write little notes on tiny post-its and stick them on the pages of whatever novel or play we were reading. And I had to have my outline for what we were going to do in class that day. I guess if I'd taught a bit longer, I'd find less use for notes. Maybe. Anyway, more power to ya!