Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A challenging ingredient in teaching

Francis Su is a mathematics Professor at Harvey Mudd College. He is teaches a course in Real Analysis, the lectures of which you can watch on Youtube. Last year he received the Haimo award from the Mathematical Association of America for excellence in teaching.

In receiving the award he gave a deeply personal talk
The Lesson of Grace in Teaching: From weakness to wholeness, the struggle and the hope

I actually wanted to post about his talk when I first read it months ago, but was hesitant to because I feel I struggle so much with the issues he talks about. Finally posting it was prompted by two events. I got my latest student teaching evaluations and they were pretty good [more on that later]. (Sadly, this also illustrates how I am struggling with what Su is talking about: performance based identity). A friend is taking a course on teaching and he told me they had a whole session discussing clarification of personal values and how they shape your own teaching philosophy and interactions with students. I thought Su was an excellent example of this.

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