Today I taught a few classes. One was on databases. It was interesting because I made a few mistakes in my teaching. I accidentally chose an example that did not work out according to plan.
It was glaringly obvious that I did not think this out well ahead of time – but I’m glad I had this experience because it made me think. I have put a lot of time into cultivating an honest rapport with these students and in a situation like this it paid off. They were very forgiving and we just moved onto a different example that worked. I could see that if I had not made the previous effort to gain their trust and approval I would have had a situation on my hands that would have been difficult to sidestep.
I like to think in terms of an emotional bank account. Sometimes we can make deposits into that account (light moments, personalism, clear explanations, etc …) and sometimes we withdraw from that account (bad days, unforeseen offsets, personality conflicts, etc…) I am starting to understand that it is tantamount to effective teaching to as far as possible try to establish a RELATIONSHIP with your students so that they can relate to you as a human being. Also I think this attitude will make my job a lot more enjoyable.
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