Excellent Graduate Teacher, part I.

I finished coursework last May. Now it hits me–in October–I really don’t have any more courses to complete. So I stop and think: What did I find excellent during that experience?

In one seminar of roughly 10 students, the professor came to class without a syllabus. I was surprised. It was the first time that I have ever had that experience. Then, for the next hour, the professor interviewed us–learning about what makes us tick, and what we prefer to read about when our heads are down in a professional journal. Soon there was a conversation about the field of political science! Soon theory was projected onto the white board. In the next hour, the professor poked at the controversies in the field, and then connected the course topic to what the students liked–and what they wanted to learn about in this class.

To make a long story short, we were given our reading assignment at the end of class and the syllabus, which we received in week two–was the course topic tailored to what we had all hoped to learn from the Week 1 discussion. Let me tell you, that’s bold and inspiring!


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