I have the worst teacher ever! Can I help her?

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literarylioness13:
Quote

I'm with the skeptics. Keep in mind that the chair likely hired this instructor, so any criticism of the instructor will be perceived as criticism of the chair and likely lead to denials or defensiveness or, as other have suggested, attacks on you. The instructor may not be rehired next semester, but at this point, the enemy will be you, and the chair may try whatever necessary to save face and blame you for the problem. Talk to him/her if you think you must, just be prepared for blowback.

Why would there be "blowback"? The OP does not work at this cc. The most that could happen would be the chair ignores the complaint, and OP drops the class.

lucy_:
Not instead of the above good ideas, but also, at the end, write a really good detailed evaluation of the course, with suggestions for improvements.

The best evaluation I ever got, in terms of usefulness, was from a grad student who was my age (returned to school after another career) and was a teacher for her department, so she had the teaching experience, and was an older more mature nontraditional student. She wrote what she thought worked well, what she thought needed improvement, and suggestions for improvement.

It was a good course before her comments, but an even better course after.

It was an "anonymous" evaluation, but I could tell it was her.

I greatly appreciated the time this person took to share her ideas with me; in the role of a student, but with experiences that the other students didn't have.

In the meantime, what others suggested......

polly_mer:
Quote from: field_mouse on February 07, 2013, 11:36:52 PM

The worst thing is that it wasn't a terrible strategy, at least from my point of view.  When we put our heads together, teaching each other the next unit, I learned more.  There are students of different abilities in this course, though, and I expect the more advanced students didn't get as much out of it as I did.


Active learning by the students with minimal supervision is a solid teaching strategy.  However, for that to work,

1) one must make sure the students have the materials and the materials are useful
2) one must make some effort to give students direction on what to do today (a list of problems, handouts, discussion points)
3) one must be at least very close to the classroom so that students can poke their heads out and say, "One question about <blah>".  For example, I tell students to come on by during labs for other classes because I have small enough classes that no groups in the assigned class may need my help at any given moment.  I sometimes take certain groups into another room to reduce noise and/or give some privacy for people who feel keenly about being the ones with the weakest background to ask the questions they need with less judgment by their fellow students or get a targeted lecture.

I'm a huge fan of letting students do the learning while I guide as necessary, but that cannot mean abandoning the students.  I am often accused of abandoning the students by not lecturing or spoonfeeding, but even I cannot condone what this professor is doing according to your details.

cgfunmathguy:
Quote from: polly_mer on February 08, 2013,  9:30:47 AM

Quote from: field_mouse on February 07, 2013, 11:36:52 PM

The worst thing is that it wasn't a terrible strategy, at least from my point of view.  When we put our heads together, teaching each other the next unit, I learned more.  There are students of different abilities in this course, though, and I expect the more advanced students didn't get as much out of it as I did.


Active learning by the students with minimal supervision is a solid teaching strategy.  However, for that to work,

1) one must make sure the students have the materials and the materials are useful
2) one must make some effort to give students direction on what to do today (a list of problems, handouts, discussion points)
3) one must be at least very close to the classroom so that students can poke their heads out and say, "One question about <blah>".  For example, I tell students to come on by during labs for other classes because I have small enough classes that no groups in the assigned class may need my help at any given moment.  I sometimes take certain groups into another room to reduce noise and/or give some privacy for people who feel keenly about being the ones with the weakest background to ask the questions they need with less judgment by their fellow students or get a targeted lecture.

I'm a huge fan of letting students do the learning while I guide as necessary, but that cannot mean abandoning the students.  I am often accused of abandoning the students by not lecturing or spoonfeeding, but even I cannot condone what this professor is doing according to your details.

+1 to all of this.

history_grrrl:
Quote from: prytania3 on February 08, 2013,  2:03:57 AM

This may be one of those non-union CCs where intructors teach 8 courses.

If that's the case--what do you expect?


Ah, but "expect"-able is not the same as acceptable.

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