Mrs Frances Ess, a senior teacher who is on attachment with us, started attending my AAG233: Climate and Climate change class as part of her observation on how university lecturers teach. At the end of the session, I gave her a ride home as the class eneded at 1815. We chatted in the car and I inevitably asked for her observation of my class. Short of sounding boastful, Frances affirmed some key features of my teaching that I will share below as part of my personal reflection exercise:
- Ability to engage students for an extended period fo time (3 hours in this case). Frances noted that the level of engagement remained high even in the third hour. In her words, she was surprised that I could get the students to read an article for 15 minutes and then discuss it even though it was the beginning of the 3rd hour of the class. She said, i could get away with blue murder!
- Ability to build rapport with students (even at the first session). This is perhaps due to the rapport I have built with them since year one.
- A good story teller who uses the power of narrative in teaching.
- An entertaining teacher (she contrasted it to the concept of an entertainer). To Frances, many teachers can be entertainers but she called me an entertaining teacher.
There were some other things she said but I cannot recall all of them. Let us wait for her blog and I will publish it here (after I ask her for permission; afternote: yes she has given the green light. here is the link https://mamafesspdl.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/a-climate-of-change-changing-climate-in-singapore/).
Thanks Frances, your comments affirmed my teaching philosophy and what I believe are the key factors to my professional practice as a teacher.