With the first several weeks of Michaelmas Term under our belts already, I thought this would be a good time to reflect on something new I’m doing this year: teaching undergraduate students. The start of this academic year has been surreal for all of us in a myriad of ways, and teaching is no exception. All of us are forced to navigate strict COVID-19 protocols and procedures for being on campus and in classrooms to ensure we all remain healthy and safe. This is extremely important and I am grateful LSE has been taking this so seriously. But despite that, I have readily enjoyed teaching my students so far, who I have found to be curious, engaged, and ready to participate.
One thing I immediately noticed is how forgiving my students have been. They understand this is a tough time for everyone, and have been immensely patient as I have climbed the first-time teaching learning curve, a tough challenge even in the best of times. I appreciate their empathy and kindness as we work through the material together. And what I quickly realized is that we’re a team, discussing and learning together. A successful class is a team effort, where students and teachers tackle challenges, concepts and ideas together, as a unit. In just the first few weeks, I have been amazed with the insights my students have provided, and a lot of times, they have been ones I had not considered myself. In other words, it is a learning process for everyone, and there is something for all of us to take away each class session.
I am also grateful for how encouraging and supportive my fellow teachers have been, both on my course and in my Department as a whole. Their suggestions, tips and wisdom have been invaluable for me as I’ve started teaching, giving me new ideas about how to shake things up in class and present the material in new and exciting ways for my students. Their experience has been so helpful for me, and they have made my experience so far that much easier and more enjoyable.
The situation is changing daily for us in London and the UK, but no matter what happens with COVID-19, I am dedicated to making sure my students have the best experience possible in my class.