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October 15th, 2009

Thursday, October 15th, 2009 08:31 pm
I got an email today from the instructor who I mentioned visited my class Tuesday. (An activity which instructors may well be meant to do each quarter with each TA, but which has never been performed by any other instructor for whom I TA'd.) It was about two lines long, with an attachment in the form of a letter. Seriously, he sent me a letter via email. With a blank bit where if it had been printed out he would have signed it.

It was a really nice letter. I mean, it was an evaluation of my teaching, and as such it consisted largely of a summary of what I did in class Tuesday, with some commentary and some suggestions about what I could have done better. But it said nice things (specific nice things! also general nice things) and he'd forwarded it to all the conceivably relevant people in the department (Paul, department chair, person in charge of graduate students, person in charge of calculus) because he was so pleased. I don't know why this last makes me so happy, but it does. So.

Also the suggestions make me happy. They were mostly about the examples I'd chosen to work, which I do choose a bit too much in haste and at random, I think. He did advocate using the back board* (!) which I guess I'll ask about, since it seems so odd to me to do so.

* In the set-up, common in larger classrooms dedicated to math, of having one fixed board and two in front of it which move up and down on some sort of pulley system. The front and middle boards move independently, of course, and what I (and most people I've seen) do is write alternately on the front and middle boards, having the one not in use (covered by the most recent work) pushed up above.