Vito Prosciutto: Teaching community college math on the road to a PhD.

Friday, March 26, 2004

I've changed my mind 

At one point in the past I declared that I didn't care whether my students liked me or not as long as they learned the material. I've come to realize that this was a misguided sentiment. I should care about whether students like me, but not for its own benefit, but because if they like me, they'll be more willing to care about the material as well.

Watching how my geometry mentor relates to the kids now that I'm back in observation mode makes the importance of this a bit clearer to me. I had the last ten minutes of the last period while my mentor was getting ready to leave right at the bell for a doctor's appointment and I could feel the difference in attitude from the students and see what a difference it made, although there's also been a bit of a warming of the relationship between us compared to earlier in the semester. One amusing moment came when I asked one of the students how she came up with her answer. She rattled off her answer more quickly than I could write it (or listen to it, for that matter). "And you complain about me going too fast," I said in response.

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