Sunday, November 15, 2009

Philosophical frustrations

This semester's been a trying one for me, and it was only this morning that I figured out just why this has been the case: I'm currently in the middle of the most fundamental shift in my teaching philosophy since graduate school.

As regular readers will know, I've been questioning basal aspects of course design, including assessment, grading, and basic course organization.

Most of my upper-level courses are already taught in a fashion that's quite squarely in line with my newly emerging philosophy on pedagogy, but the realization that many aspects of my first-year course organization run contrary to this philosophy has caused a good deal of dissonance.

I'm frustrated by this philosophical shift, as it's caused me to reassess, mid-semester, the way in which I've put things together, and to plan ahead, looking forward to next semester already.

The frustration is not fruitless, and I'm not regretting it: for the most part I think the changes are good ones. However, they've meant some awkward adjustments for my students in Calc I, and I apologize if these adjustments have thrown anyone off. If any of my Calc I students are reading this entry, I'd like to tell you how much I appreciate your patience and understanding, and the enormous amount of work you all put forth to ensure that our classes as strong ones. I've enjoyed working with you all immensely, and I hope that I'll see many of you again next semester in my fully-redesigned (and silky-smooth!) Calc II.

If you are reading this and you have any comments or suggestions regarding what you think might make Calc II a good experience for you, please let me know.

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