Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Student Perspective

Today was the first day of classes and I attended three lectures taught by professors Emory has hired and one lecture taught by a graduate student. Now, this graduate student was very knowledgeable in the area he was instructing, but the minutes crawled by as a series of topics I wasn't very interested in was covered.

Each of the professors whose classes I attended was dynamic and filled with an infectious excitement for their area of expertise. They moved quickly and carried the class with them, and while they certainly weren't perfect, they were interesting to learn from.

Before I make my final generalization, there are two things that should be said. First, responsibility does rest on the student to engage in a class, so it's not only the instructor's fault if something isn't interesting. Second, it's distinctly possible that I'll one day be a graduate student teaching introductory courses, and I'm sure I'd see things differently then.

My experience today indicates that it takes more than basic knowledge to be a good instructor, and I think it's a shame that so many classes at a school like Emory are taught by students only a few years more advanced in their education than us. I don't have an obvious solution, but would suggest that if a student is expected to invest financially and mentally in a class, it should be more than a student-led study session.


  1. You should send this to Dr. Wagner. One of the major advantages Emory claimed to have over competing schools was their professor/student ratio.

    1. That could very well be something to do...