Room for improvement

Robert Beichner talks to Bates faculty about SCALE-UP.

Robert Beichner talks to Bates faculty about SCALE-UP.

Two weeks ago, I attended a talk by Robert Beichner on SCALE-UP, an active-learning program he developed at NC State. There were many things he said in his talk that really aligned well with many of my own teaching philosophies. But the one thing that really struck me as new is the idea that you have to have a good space (classroom) for this active learning to happen.

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Posted in active learning, classroom design, inquiry-based learning, teaching | Leave a comment

The same side of two coins part 2: The dark side of the coin

Earlier this year, I wrote a blog post about being on the other side of the job search for the first time. Now I’m on a departmental hiring committee for a second time, and I am also one of the non-departmental members for the Econ department’s hiring committee. I thought I would share what it’s like the second time around.

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Posted in interviewing, job search | Leave a comment

Math is a flat Circle

There are few things that bruise your professional ego more than no one showing up to an event you painstakingly and excitedly planned. In my case, it all came crashing down in early October. I had been planning to start a local Math Circle since February, and even got a generous grant from the Harward Center here at Bates to do it. I had connected with local teachers, advertised in a couple of school events, and sent out numerous email announcements in the weeks leading up to the event. On the day of our first meeting, our invited speaker, four student helpers, myself, and ONE student from the Lewiston High School showed up. I canceled the event (fortunately, the student’s parents were still nearby), and went home to mope and despair about how terrible I am at everything. After an appropriate mourning period and lots of comfort food (basically the rest of that weekend), I decided to pick myself up and figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. I know you are all worried now, but don’t be, this story has a happy ending.

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Posted in math circles, outreach | 4 Comments