Happy Friday, dear Internetz! Above, the view from the bus stop in downtown Northampton.
Waiting for the bus to Hampshire, I saw the army of UMass teaching assistants waiting for their express bus to Friday sections. They were all wearing their Friday best, ready to impart knowledge and facilitate discussions among the undergraduates. Oh the memories! I was one of them during grad school part I; I learned to teach during those Fridays.
Teaching is a craft that requires a lot of care and feeding. I am skeptical that ‘natural’ teachers exist, but I do know that the best teachers are those who believe that their craft should always evolve, who wonder at the end of every session what he or she could have done better, and finally, those who know realize that you have to think about how to engage all the students in the room with you, not just the middle, not just the best, and not just the worst.
I’ve been lucky since grad school to worked in library positions where teaching is healthy part of my portfolio, but most importantly, I’ve been extremely fortunate to have colleagues who are willing to watch me in the classroom and offer constructive suggestions about how to be more effective.
It takes a village to teach a class of students; may we all find ways of supporting each other inside and outside of the classroom so we can do the work of educating our students, and each other.