Last week, I got the opportunity to get some feedback for my teaching. Two of my colleagues, Nicole Barthel and Paul Stapor, both also taking part in the ProLehre compact course (see kickoff post here), were each visiting one of my tutorials. They were observing different aspects of my style to teach, e.g.

  • facial expressions and gesture,
  • voice,
  • or motivation of mathematical contents.

Fortunately, both of them gave mostly positive feedback. My voice is clear, my motivation is coherent, and I have a quiet but noticeable presence. However, one of the more critical points were my style of asking students. I want to ask them more explicitly and not in a rather rhetorical fashion. Another important point that I would like to improve is to stop commenting on the simplicity/difficulty of exercises from a subjective (my) perspective. Students see most of the stuff for the first time and are trying hard to grab the main information which is difficult for them in the beginning. So, many students struggle with some exercises but I do not want them to feel dumb if they do not get every little detail immediately.

Thanks to both of my colleagues for taking their time discussing with me!

Also I was giving feedback for Nicole who is teaching Computational Statistics this semester. It was a lot of fun and very productive to be forced to think about teaching skills and the many different facets a good teacher has to satisfy. We had to fill out a feedback sheet with a couple of pages and discuss it afterwards. Nicole did a great job in her tutorial, so it was kind of easy to fill in a lot of (positive) lines.