6 Comments

  1. Durl

    I believe that I was in the same math classes the 2 years you spoke of. She was one of my favorite teachers as well. Part of the reason she was one of my favorites is that I had my worst teacher in my entire education experience in math the year before. I’d grown to hate math under this guy.

    I seem to recall Mr. Picard — witty chap as I remember. Wicked smart. Not smart enough to be a valedictorian, but a close second.

    This teacher was hard on you because she knew that you COULD do better. You were always the quickest to understand new material, but didn’t put in the time with repetitive homework to hone your skills to do the work quickly. Thus, on the test, you had to re-develop the methods in your head, resulting in not enough time to do all of the problems without error. Eventually, her needling worked because you did beat Picard’s score on a test.

    • m

      I had that class with you. He was abysmal wasn’t he? But he had certainly mastered the happy, smiley face “let’s all be friends” shtick.

    • Bookscrounger

      Whoa, gettin’ pencil whipped on my own blog. Oh well, guilty as changed.

      “A” test? Yeah, that was about it.

      BTW, get ready, she and you are coming up in another post, talking about matrices.

  2. m

    I’d be remiss if I didn’t recall Ms. Margaret Smith’s Chem Study class, her notorious open book tests, her all business demeanor coupled with a willingness to drop a copper penny in sulfuric acid when I asked her if she would. She looked me up and down at the door of her classroom Junior Year when I showed up and requested to take her class, didn’t say anything for a moment and asked me if I was ready to work, briefly explained what I was getting in to, and then signed off.

    She was a blend of insistence and acceptance.

    It was easily the highlight of my high school academic course. I got out alive with a B as I recall.

    • Bookscrounger

      Yeah, and I learned something else from Mrs. Smith. I breezed through my first college chemistry because of her class, even hit 100 on the first exam.

      But she told us that ‘pH’ didn’t mean anything. I was very surprised to find out that ‘p’ is ‘negative logarithm’ and so pH is the negative logarithm of the hydrogen ion concentration.

      That observation relates to what we’re discussing here: being an effective teacher, particularly at the introductory level, isn’t about accuracy as much as teaching ability.

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