Archive for May 2012

Feedback from my First Semester Teaching

So Duke Spring 2012 is finished, and grades are in; it’s time for me to become an ordinary graduate student again. But before I do that, I think it’s reasonable to reflect just a bit on how the semester went.

All and all, I am happy but not ecstatic with how my first semester turned out. In general I think students enjoyed my classes and they learned a lot (and my course feedback reflects this). I was able to try out some techniques I thought would work well, and in general I had good success. Of course it also helped that my students were almost always enthusiastic and extremely conscientious.

One main thing I learned this semester is that I have to be a little bit more careful about how I manage my time outside the classroom. As a professor, there’s a lot I can do to help students and in the beginning it was really easy to put in a lot of extra hours. Not that I mind putting in extra hours for the students, but time away from relaxing and sleeping takes it’s toll. Towards the end of the semester, I just got exhausted and then I really couldn’t put in time sometimes when I really needed to.

Well, enough vagueness. Here’s what my students said in their written feedback, crudely summarized by me:

I’ve also attached the official numerical feedback summaries below.

(Contains 3 attachments.)