I am giving this semester mixed reviews. Here are the good things that happened:
- I really enjoyed working with my future elementary education teachers.
- Our department hired two great mathematicians: Sunil Chetty and Anne Sinko.
- I had a positive third year review (halfway to tenure!).
- I started introducing computer programming into my courses.
- I started introducing ideas from Assessment FOR Learning into my courses.
- I became convinced that screencasts will be a great teaching tool.
- I continued experimenting with clickers.
- I started a Project Euler Club.
- I used a Scholarship and Teaching Fellowship to make progress on the textbook I am writing.
Here are the bad things;
- The process of hiring two new professors took a whole lot of time.
- My students barely did anything with the computer programming projects.
- In spite of the Assessment FOR Learning ideas, large portions of my class had trouble even understanding what it means to explain why something works (rather than just “how to perform an algorithm. That, they get.).
- Although I made progress on my textbook, it was minimal. There was still somehow too much to do.
Next year: I am hoping to up the ante on Assessment FOR Learning in my two real analysis classes in the fall. I am also going to greatly increase my use of screencasts and clickers. In the spring, I will teach the course for elementary education majors again, giving me a chance to improve on the number of students who understand the difference between “how” and “why.” I am also teaching a complex analysis cours—possibly doing a full-on IBL course.