In the fall of 2014, a one-semester gap between the departure of one physics professor and the arrival of the next afforded me the opportunity(?) to teach a first-semester, calculus-based physics class. The thirty-year gap between the last (of three) physics courses I had taken myself and this course I was to teach, combined with a two-week notice prior to the start of the semester, placed me in the interesting position of learning alongside my students. Wading through an unfamiliar text, trying to understand publisher-produced lecture slides, learning from and getting frustrated with online homework, entering review sessions fearful of what students might ask, all these things gave me a much clearer understanding of and empathy with the student experience and prepared me to make effective changes in other courses I teach.
Jongerius, Kim, "Pressure and Impulse in Student Learning: What I Learned from Teaching Physics" (2015). ACMS Conference Proceedings 2015. 9.
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