Learning from Teaching Evaluations 1

Due to an application for another teaching fellow position, I had occasion to go back and look at my evaluations from TF-ing in the fall. The course was Brian Walsh’s “Shakespeare: Histories and Tragedies.” The evaluations were positive in a qualified way and contained many well-deserved suggestions for improvement. No lie, it’s tough to read anonymous, honest comments about the weaknesses of your own teaching style. I’m glad that this was my first course as a TF and I now have feedback for improving those aspects and growing stronger in my areas of strength. Here are some action points based on those comments.

On the positive side:

Stephen was a great TA!

[Stephen] made section fun and useful and sections at Yale are never fun or useful.

Stephen was a highly accessible and approachable section leader, making reviewing those essays an easy task.

Stephen was especially interested in a historical understanding of Shakespeare, and I really appreciated that he brought in excerpts from outside sources to help us better understand the plays. He was very helpful in meetings, and is generally such a chill guy–the best combination you could ask for in a TA.

Stephen was an effective TA–warm and thoughtful. He did a great job bringing interesting and often unexpected outside materials into section.

Oh, and I should note that my professor’s main constructively-critical tip was to watch out for mumbling! Got it. Loud and clear. Can’t wait to improve all these areas the next time I TF.

Currently, I’m co-teaching a seminar entitled “The Grid: Data, History, Visualization” and it’s going amazingly well. I feel an ownership in the content and thus am fully engaged. But being a good teacher means a commitment to effort and excellence in all situations.


13 Mar 2015