Tuesday, February 26, 2013

It's a rough job, but someone's got to do it...

So last Saturday I taught a class on Carolingian Life and Culture. I had a good time- I love teaching, and it's a subject that I (*cough*) know fairly well. Started with a bit of history, the movement of the barbarian tribes through Europe, and rise of the Franks, the Merovingians, Charles Martel, Pepin, and of course, Charlemagne. His expansions, and the basics of his reign. Then we looked at pretty pictures of architecture, an bunch of pictures of clothes, and then of Frankish 'bling'. Lots of bling.

My handouts weren't as nice as I would have liked, as I need to learn some different software- Word Perfect and Word don't really make photo-heavy handouts well. I ended up doing a lot of manual cut-and-paste. And I had the help of two two-year-olds. But they served the purpose.

I'm usually happy about my teaching- I love being up at the blackboard, and I think I'm good at it. And I generally think that my students get something out of it.

The University of Ithra (The Kingdom of An Tir's internal university system) has students fill out evaluation forms at the end of the class- there's several categories to rate in, and space for comments. The rating goes from Inadequate (basically a D), to Adequate (C), Good (B) and Excellent (A). I usually receive Excellents, with the occasional Good. And that is what I got Saturday... except for one. I got my first Adequate. All the way across. And the comments were rather sharp. The person clearly expected something that they did not get (mostly technical stuff about the clothing) and it left me wondering if they had actually read the class description.

So I got a bunch of good rating, and one not-so-good. And which one am I obsessing over? Yeah- the not good one. I'm a bit of a perfectionist, and that someone doesn't think highly of my teaching really bothers me. It's like telling Daniel Day-Lewis that his acting is 'meh'

So I have this to work through. I'm judging at the Arts and Sciences Championship this Saturday, and I'm teaching another Ithra class in April- part one of the Survey of the Middle Ages series. Hopefully I'll have my confidence back, and feel good about teaching again.

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